Girls lacrosse: Jonathan Law edges Foran in overtime

Jonathan Law sophomore attacker Colleen Goodwin wasn’t planning on a one-on-one confrontation with another sophomore, Foran High goalie Shea Phelan on Monday night when she arrived at the Law Sports Complex for the second of two games against the Eagles cross-city rival. It just worked out that way.

Goodwin’s goal on a free position attempt at 2:29 of overtime gave the Eagles an 11-10 victory over the Lions. That tally  curtailed what had been a gargantuan comeback by the visitors, who after trailing 6-2 at halftime outscored Law 8-3 in the second 25 minutes.

Down 10-6 with 3:46 to play, Foran goals by Julia Astram, Kiara Kanlong and a game-tying score from Samantha O’Neill with 18 seconds left sent the contest into a sudden-death session of three minutes.

Law’s Olivia Keator won the faceoff and the Eagles went into an offensive set. When Goodwin was blocked out in front of the net, the officials awarded her a free position opportunity. She stood to the left of Phelan, set herself then went to the net.

“I tried to relax as much as I could,” Goodwin said. “All I could think about was the game and how much we needed this win. I guess I put a pretty good fake on her (Phelan) and, when she went one way, I shot the ball the other way.”

The win, which evened Law’s record at 8-8, eased the mind of Eagles’ coach Jessica Shaw, who tried everything in an attempt to slow down Foran and its second-half offensive onslaught.

“They may have had the momentum in the second half,” Shaw said. “But we’ve had a lot of experience with overtime games this year.” There must have been some trepidation though because Law had lost its previous three.

The loss was very costly for Foran, which needed the win in order to make the state tournament. Foran closed out its second season of varsity play at 6-10.

“We came back three times against them,” said Lions’ coach Jack Connors. “I’m extremely proud of my girls for being able to do that. I think we gained back a little respect tonight. We played very poorly when they beat us (16-5 at Foran back on May 9) the first time.”

After the Lions’ Taylor Wisniewski scored the first of her two goals at 18:42 of the opening half, Foran’s defense kept Law off the board until the 17:54 mark when Bethany Edwards tied it at 1-1.

Goals by Keator at 16:30 and again at 12:38 allowed the Eagles to open up a 3-1 lead. Keator finished with three goals and has now brought her two-year varsity total to 206 points. She has 69 goals this year.

After Law’s Erin Goodwin scored at 18:23 of the second half ,and the Eagles opened up a 7-2 lead, Foran began its push. Four straight goals by four different players brought the Lions to within 7-6 at the 11:24 mark.

The game quickly turned back Law’s way when the Eagles netted three straight — from Laura Dennigan, Keator and Chloe McCullough.

Up 10-6 with 3:46 to play, it appeared that Foran was done. Connors, however, didn’t think so. He kept yelling words of wisdom from the sidelines and his players listened.

Astam led the way back. When Kanlong fed O’Neill and she finished her chance with those 18 seconds showing, Foran had forced overtime.

Along the way, Law’s sophomore goalie Stella Patrick made 10 saves, including three in the closing minutes. She managed to stem the tide enough to force the game into overtime.

“They were literally pushing shots down my throat in that second half,” said Patrick, who after starting her lacrosse career as a defender became a goalie this year. “Winning this game against them was one of my personal goals. It’s just good tonight that we had the lead that we did at halftime.”

Foran managed to outshoot Law, 26-21, as Phelan made seven saves with six of them coming in the first half.

“We have everybody back for next year,” Connors said. “That’s great. I’m just disappointed that these kids couldn’t have had a taste of state tournament play. We had four losses by one goal. If our fortunes had turned just a little in anyone of those games, our season would still be going.”

Astam finished her season with 41 goals and 50 points. Eva Knudsen, with a goal against Law, also closed her season with 50 points (18 goals, 32 assists).

Prior to the game, Law honored its two seniors.

Kayla Carollo will major in criminal justice and psychology next fall at the University of New Haven with a minor in Arabic.

Kelly Scianna will attend Elms College in Boston. She’ll have a co-major in biology and pre-med with a minor in Irish Studies.