Girls lacrosse: Law Eagles take Shelton to overtime

With a fair number of high scorers located within its lineup, the Jonathan Law girls lacrosse team has shown a penchant for putting the ball in the net so far this spring. What’s troubling varsity coach Jessica Shaw is the Eagles’ inability to start games well and its untimely defensive lapses.

Both were in evidence last Thursday afternoon when Law took on Shelton in Milford. Law fell behind early, trailing by 6-0 and 8-2, before rallying late with two scores in the game’s final two minutes to set up a 16-16 deadlock and send the contest into a three-minute sudden-death overtime period.

But early in the session, after gaining possession off the opening face-off, the Eagles committed a foul, lost the ball and gave Shelton its opportunity at the win.

The Gaels completed the task when Nicole Roberts fed Jill Ortoli (five goals) in front of the net for the game winner just 75 seconds in.

“We keep digging ourselves into a hole and then we need a way to get ourselves out of it,” said Shaw, who began the program at Law in 2014 with it going varsity one year later. “We did that today because we kept losing face-offs after they scored. I changed the alignment on our face-offs. It seemed to light a fire under us and we became much more offensive-minded.”

The emergence of junior Catie Rice this year has been a pleasant surprise for Shaw. Hobbled by a knee injury in 2015 that slowed her down, Rice could score but the larger portion of Law’s goals came from Olivia Keator, then a freshman. She finished with 100 points and already has 19 goals so far in four games.

Law battled back on Thursday from a three-goal, 10-7 halftime deficit. The Eagles were down by as many as four goals, 14-10, at the 14:10 mark before they went to work.

Laura Dennigan’s goal at 13:55 made it 14-11, and when Keator scored on an assist from Colleen Goodwin the Eagles inched even closer.

Ortoli put Shelton up 15-12 at the 13-minute mark. Dennington then put her team in a stall mode, but it didn’t work. The Gaels were able to run some time off of the clock, but once the Eagles got possession, they found the back of the net.

Scores by Chloe McCullough and then Keator made it 15-14 with 4:59 left.

Shelton secured a two-goal lead again, at 16-14, on a Roberts score with 3:05 remaining.

But Law came back again, first on Erin Goodwin’s penalty-shot goal (1:09) before Keator’s score sent it into overtime.

Keator led Law with five scores and Rice chipped in with four while Dennigan netted three. The loss for Law was its second in overtime this year and overall, the Eagles are 1-3. Mimi Chrzastek made three saves for Law. Her counterpart, Amanda Bolduc, had seven.