CHS girls lax earns home-and-home sweep

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It took a few games to get into a rhythm after a challenging preseason, but the CHS girls lacrosse team appears to be rounding into form as they head into a difficult stretch against several strong league opponents.

Senior captain Mary Kent (Mike Barucci photo)

Senior captain Mary Kent (Mike Barucci photo)

Since losing their first three games — all by double-digit margins — the lady Bulldogs have gone 3-1 over their last four games, including a home-and-home sweep against nonleague Plymouth North on April 17 and 24. Their lone loss during this stretch came against King Philip last Wednesday at home, although head coach Chrissy O’Connor thought the girls played relatively well despite the 12-2 final score.

“I thought it was a much more evenly played game than the score suggests,” said O’Connor of the loss to the Warriors. “We certainly had our opportunities, we just did not have an offensive day at all, but our defense, despite the score, actually played pretty well.”

O’Connor said senior captain Tessa Cudmore and junior Jess Powers have been the team’s two defensive anchors, and their strong play carried over to this Monday’s rematch against Plymouth North, which the Canton coach thought was their best all-around performance of the season. “It was a really good team win,” O’Connor said of the 18-6 victory.

Leading the way on offense for the Bulldogs was sophomore Leah McClellan, who had a breakout game with eight goals. Senior captain Mary Kent and seniors Rebecca Eckler and Emily Fabbiano added two more goals each, while Julia Panico, Caroline Hagan, Lauren Fitzpatrick, and Leya Conard netted one apiece.

The Bulldogs also won a majority of the draws in the contest and they are starting to develop some good chemistry in the midfield behind top performers Hagan, Fitzpatrick, and recent freshman call-up Alexa Maffeo.

Defensively, the Canton girls posted a new season low for goals allowed with six and senior goalie/team captain Kathryn Doody had her strongest performance to date, finishing with 10 saves.

Canton’s first game against Plymouth North, by contrast, did not go quite as smoothly as the Bulldogs fell behind by four goals on the road before clawing back to win in overtime 12-11.

“We came out strong and did really well but then we kind of sat back,” said O’Connor. “It just seemed to be one of those games where when our offense was on, our defense wasn’t, but once they pulled it together they did a great job.”

Kent scored the game winner less than a minute into the sudden-victory OT period and finished as the team leader with four goals. McClellan and Cudmore also had a pair of goals while Eckler, Hagan, Panico, and Maggie Malloy each finished with one.

With the two wins over Plymouth North, Canton improved to 3-4 overall and was due to host North Attleboro on Wednesday, April 26. The girls then travel to Sharon on Friday, followed by games next week at Attleboro on May 3 and home versus Mansfield on May 5.

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