Girls lacrosse: Lady Lawmen lend a helping hand
The success so far during the 2018 season for the Jonathan Law girls lacrosse team hinges on one very crucial element of the game — the ability of players to move the ball rapidly within their offensive schemes.
A keen observer of the team’s play is scorekeeper Chris Keator. His daughter, Olivia, is closing in on 400 career points. Keator often times marks almost as many assists into the book as he does goals.
In Law's 15-9 defeat of city rival Foran last Thursday night in a contest which began under threatening weather conditions and was concluded in a steady rain, the winners had 14 assists.
The victory allowed the Lady Lawmen to keep possession of the trophy presented yearly to the winning side.
"Our goal in every game is to keep the ball moving when we're on offense," said head coach Lynette Martinez. "We like to create from in back of the opponents' net outward. If players stay in motion and make the proper cuts, then we're able to find openings in the defense or create miss-matches and good scoring opportunities."
One of Law's favorite combinations is having Andria Torres feed the ball to Keator, whose footwork and stick abilities present her with opportunistic and often times unimpeded scoring chances.
She got the 8-3 Lady Lawmen off in the right direction against a Lions' team that, with a 2-9 record, must win its remaining five games to gain entrance into the postseason.
Within the game's first 5:36, Keator had three of her four goals, all off of passes coming from Torres from behind the Foran cage.
Torres accumulated 11 points in the win, with 10 of them being helpers.
When freshman Jordan Konlian scored at the 12:34 mark, Law had built up a 4-0 lead in a half where it would out shoot the Lions 13-5.
It was also, no doubt, beginning to develop a thought in the mind of Foran coach Jack Connors.
"They're a tough team to stop," Connors would say. "Lynette has an outstanding team and has a balance of scorers and playmakers in Keator, Goodwin (Colleen) and Tournas. It's a team with wonderful senior leadership."
A goal by Foran's Bridget Collins (at 17:11) was all that interrupted Law, which then got consecutive goals from Kellie McNellis and a pair from Colleen Goodwin for a 7-1 halftime advantage.
Foran's offense seemed to get in sync as the second half progressed and the rain began to fall. The Lions scored eight goals in the 25-minute session but were only able to cut Law's lead to 12-7 on an unassisted score by Emily Kwalek at 13:30.
Laura Dennigan's two scores, in the closing minutes, set up the final nine-goal spread.
Keator demonstrated her passing abilities, especially in the second half, where she had four assists to go along with four goals.
Colleen Goodwin took goal-scoring honors with five.
In all, seven players for Law accounted for points.
For Foran, junior Samantha O'Neill had five second-half goals to lead the attack. Collins finished with two and Kwalik had one. Eva Knudsen had two assists.
Stella Patrick made five saves in net for Law.
Connors split his goal-keeping chores between freshman Chloe Oliver (four saves) and senior Shea Phelan (two saves).
"Our kids aren't in a good position now needing to win out," Connors said. "But this group has absolutely no quit in them. We had a bad middle stretch in our season where we lost a pair of one-goal games (to Bunnell and Stratford) and also had a chance to beat Amity. It has made a difference. It now comes down to playing one game at a time."
Foran had a Tuesday game at North Haven and will meet Lyman Hall at home this afternoon before finishing up on Saturday with a home night contest (7 p.m. start) with Notre Dame of Fairfield. It will be "Food To Kids Night,” where the team will have a bake sale and raise monies for children in need.