Stoeppel's late goal propels Brookfield into SWC semifinal

BROOKFIELD -- If it's not broke, don't fix it.

That seemed to be Brookfield's approach in the final minute of a tie game in Friday's SWC Division I girls lacrosse quarterfinal clash with New Milford.

For the fifth time, Brookfield's Audrey Powell dished out an assist, this time passing from behind the New Milford net to find Emily Stoeppel, who shot and scored her fifth goal of the contest to give the Bobcats an 11-10 lead with 47 seconds remaining.

"I brought it behind the goal, Emily made a really great cut backwards and I just attacked my defender and gave it to Emily and she scored," said Powell, who assisted Stoeppel twice. "It's a lot more competitive (in the playoffs) because everybody wants that number one spot."

On the play, Stoeppel was knocked to the turf, resulting in a penalty against New Milford and free possession for Brookfield.

"It was an awesome play," Stoeppel said. "We've been working on those plays since the beginning of the season, and just finally being able to put it all together and getting it in was great. I don't remember taking the shot, but the play was awesome."

The Bobcats executed a 47-second game of keep away and ran out the clock without allowing New Milford another possession.

"We work on every situation possible," Brookfield coach Mackenzy Ryan said. "We work on being down one and needing the ball, we work on situations where we don't need to score anymore, we work on playing a man down because of a yellow card situation on both the attack and defensive end. We always want them to be prepared."

No. 3 Brookfield's (10-6-1, 4-2-1 SWC Division I) victory sets up an SWC semifinal against No. 2 Barlow on Tuesday at 5 p.m. at New Fairfield High School.

"It's exciting," Ryan said. "Last time we played them we came out a little bit flat, so I'm very, very excited to see how the girls come out this time now that it's a tournament game."

No. 6 New Milford (7-10-0, 1-6-0 SWC Division I) got off to a fast start and claimed a 2-0 lead before the game was four minutes old: Emily Federowicz opened the scoring after receiving a pass from Ashley Maioriello, and Natalie Capriglione doubled the Green Wave's lead with a bounce shot marker.

"The girls came out on fire, and that was our best game of the season," New Milford coach Nicole Madorran said. "They did everything we were looking to do and just fell a little short unfortunately."

Brookfield knotted the score at 2-2 on a free shot goal from Jillian Fisher and a high marker by Stoeppel.

New Milford responded with a 3-1 run to take a 5-3 advantage, but Stoeppel scored top shelf and Kaia Gallop charged hard to the net for a goal, and the Bobcats went into halftime tied 5-5.

Brookfield's Savannah Ryan scored the first goal of the second half to give her team its first lead at 6-5, and Jillian Fisher followed up to make it 7-5. Powell assisted on both.

Brookfield threatened to increase its lead several times, but New Milford goalie Maddie Romandi notched three consecutive saves to keep her team close.

New Milford responded by notching four unanswered goals (Emily Federowicz, Noelle Capriglione, Federowicz and Marisa McLaughlin) to claim a 9-7 lead.

"These girls have worked very, very hard in the offseason and preseason," Madorran said. "Everything they've done really culminated in that game and they did a really great job."

Brookfield rallied to tie it at 9-9 on a free shot marker by Emma Gianoplus and Stoeppel's fourth goal.

With 5:18 to play, New Milford went up 10-9 when McLaughlin received a pass in deep from Autumn Faitak and scored from short range.

Brookfield drew even with 2:54 remaining when Powell passed from behind the net to Fisher, who shot and scored to make it 10-10.

"(The playoffs) are insane," Stoeppel said. "But we've been working for this for three months, and it all coming together now is amazing.";




Records: New Milford 7-10-0, 1-6-0 SWC Division I; Brookfield 10-6-1, 4-2-1 SWC Division I.

Scoring: NM--Emily Federowicz (3 g), Ashley Maioriello (2 a); Natalie Capriglione (2 g, 1 a); Noelle Capriglione (1 g); Marisa McLaughlin (3 g, 3 a); Autumn Faitak (1 g) B--Jillian Fisher (3 g); Emily Stoeppel (5 g); Kaia Gallop (1 g); Savannah Ryan (1 g); Audrey Powell (5 a); Emma Gianoplus (1 g). Goalies: NM--Maddie Romandi (9 saves); B--Teja Gallop (2 saves). Shots: NM--14; B--23.