Glastonbury senior captain Kate McKiernan fires a shot during the first half in an 11-10 overtime loss to Simsbury on May 3.
Glastonbury High School girls’ lacrosse team dropped a rare Central Connecticut Conference (CCC) game last Tuesday when they fell to conference rival Simsbury 11-10 in overtime at Glastonbury High School on May 3.
Simsbury senior midfield Mackenzie Chapman bounced a shot in with 28.3 seconds left in the extra session, ending an entertaining two-hour game.
“Any time you play you learn something, whether you win big or lose big or it’s a tight game,” said GHS head coach Kris Cofiell. “Kudos to Simsbury. It was a close game [against them] last year and they were up five or six goals and then we came back and beat them.”
This season contest was a game of runs, featuring four ties and four lead changes.
The home Guardians jumped out to a 3-1 lead behind sophomore midfielder Avery Olschefskie, who netted a pair of goals within the first four minutes of the game.
Olschefskie, who finished the game with four goals, tallied her first a minute in after cutting hard to the net and getting an assist from senior captain Christina Guanci.
Following a goal from Guanci — who also scored four times — Olschefskie faked a spin move to the middle and drove left before hammering home her second.
Olschefskie and Guanci each added two more goal in the first half as Glastonbury took a 7-5 lead into the break.
The visiting Trojans scored five of the first six points of the second half, taking a 10-8 lead before senior captain Kate McKiernan came to the rescue for the Guardians.
McKiernan slid a sidearm goal past goalie Kaitlyn O’Brien with 6:34 left in the game and then, following a two-minute penalty, returned in the final minute of regulation and scored the tying-goal with 10.1 seconds to play.
Glastonbury won the draw to begin overtime, but was unable to capitalize before Chapman’s goal ended the back-and-forth battle.
“This is a huge win,” Simsbury head coach Rick Bontatibus said, “We struggled last year [against Glastonbury] and were up five and they came back to beat us. This was a big, emotional roadblock we had to get by. We always know it’s going to be tough because they have a lot of tradition.”
Simsbury’s Elena Bontatibus scored a game-high five goals. Taylor Truting added a pair of goals and an assist, while Sarah Perliz added a goal and two assists as the Trojans improved to 5-3.
Coach Bontatibus added that, despite the heartbreaking end to regulation, the team still believed going into the extra session, saying, “We win or lose as a team and our motto this year is ‘family’.”
Glastonbury has dominated the conference for over a decade and Cofiell knew it would be tough to continue that this season after the team graduated what she called “a very influential class”.
Cofiell said that despite losing a strong group from a season ago, the seniors from this season have stepped up.
“Leadership has never been something that we had to find. This senior class has been amazing and every single one of our seniors has risen to that occasion to bring along the younger players, getting them physically and mentally ready to play.”
Defensive captain Hannah David and goalie Bridget Clarke are leading the Guardians on the backend this season.
Cofiell praised the two, saying both have made leaps in both leadership and from a skill standpoint this year.
The loss to Simsbury was Glastonbury’s fourth. The first three were against powerhouses Daniel Hand, Cheshire, and Ridgefield.
“In the beginning of the year there were a lot of ups and downs and injuries, and we had a lot of different starting lineups, so we feel like we are finally starting to come together,” added Cofiell. “I’m proud of them and I’m proud of the fact that they are probably closer than last year's class because they know what they have to do collectively.”
The Guardians ended the week with another tough loss, falling to East Lyme 13-11. Entering the week, the team stands at 5-5.
Cofiell said she hopes the team can fix the mistakes they have made in the losses and “turn the page” during the stretch run.
The Guardians next home game is this Thursday, May 12 against East Catholic, starting at 4:00 p.m.
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin