Girls' lacrosse: Hand denies Cheshire comeback bid
CHESHIRE - The Cheshire girls lacrosse team, which fell behind five goals in the second half against Southern Connecticut Conference rival Hand, gave its fans something to cheer about with five unanswered goals to tie the game at 9. But center midfielder Cat Chatillon scored the game-winning goal with 1 minute, 57 seconds left in the game and Meghan Kane added an insurance goal with 56 seconds to go to give Hand an 11-9 victory over Cheshire at Bartlem Park on Saturday.
Attack player Hannah Morgan led the Tigers (8-0) with four goals and an assist and goalie Christy Forest made 11 saves.
"Cat has really started to find her shot," Hand coach Kevin Siedlecki said. "She’s finally starting to do it (score) on a regular basis during games. Cat has great speed and agility. But she really has a powerful shot, which is why I always insist that she shoot high and that’s what she did on that 10th goal."
It was Hand’s second win of the season over Cheshire with the Tigers coming away with a 7-5 win in OT on April 12.
"These are always up and down battles with Cheshire, so I knew a five-goal lead wasn’t safe," Siedlecki said. "We happen to be two great teams, were equal teams and it requires a solid effort to win."
Cheshire’s Maria Blois scored with one second left in the first half to cut the Tigers’ lead to 5-3 at halftime. The Tigers opened the second half with three unanswered goals to take an 8-3 lead. Kelsie Carlette scored for the Rams to cut the lead to 8-4 with 18:56 left in the half and Morgan responded for Hand 40 seconds later to make 9-4.
The momentum seemed to be in Hand’s favor but Cheshire soon took over. The Rams went on a five-goal run with Alyssa Hague scoring three of the goals. Her third goal with 3:49 to go tied the game at 9 and gave new life to the Rams.
But the Rams couldn’t get a quality shot off the rest of the way and Chatillon would give the lead back to the Tigers.
Chatillon bolted down the right wing and broke toward Cheshire goalie Ashley Zane. She wound up and fired a blazing shot from about six feet out into the upper right corner for the goal to make it 10-9.
"I just grabbed the ball and sprinted down the right wing toward the goal," Chatillon said. "When I’m on a breakaway like that, I really don’t know what I’m going to do. I’m so focused I just keep going forward to the cage and when I see an opening I just shoot.
"When I took the (game-winning) shot, I didn’t see it go in. Then I looked down and saw the ball in back of the net. It was a great feeling because this is our biggest game of our season so far. I knew that lead would hold up the rest of the way. We really didn’t want to have to go into overtime."
The Rams tried to regroup but Kane’s goal with 56 seconds to go put the game away for the Tigers.
"I’m disappointed we lost, but I’m not upset," Cheshire coach Dan Warburton said. "This was a turning point for us today. We only have one senior on offense and we’re a young team. It’s taken a while for the girls to figure it out and with this comeback they realized what we need to do as a team.
"We haven’t had a lot of success against Hand the last couple of years. In the second half we discovered if we just play and not second guess ourselves we can score and be successful. The thing is you can’t spot Hand a five-goal lead because it takes a lot of effort to get back into the game."