Schools Sports

Conard Lacrosse Topples Hall Titans in Close-Battled Contest

Hall's Ashley Carlson carries the ball while Meryl Rung of Conard applies pressure. May 16, 2024. Photo credit: Bridget Bronsdon

The Hall girl’s lacrosse team hosted Conard for a Thursday afternoon contest in West Hartford. 

Sports reporting is sponsored by Keating Agency Insurance

By Bridget Bronsdon

Despite the rainy weather, the Hall and Conard girl’s lacrosse teams showed out for their first and only matchup of the season. While Hall-Conard contests are traditionally some of the most anticipated matches in West Hartford sports, both teams took to the field hungrier than ever in what was ultimately a 13-8 Conard win.

As the opening draw began, the field was nearly buzzing in anticipation. Hall was the first to demonstrate dominance as they won that opening draw and made a beeline for the Conard goal. With just one minute into game time, Hall notched their first goal of the match after dancing around the Red Wolves goaltender, Maya Nanayakkara.

Conard senior Maddy Sweeny quickly answered Hall’s early advances. In a swift motion, Sweeney won the draw and charged down the field to kill Conard’s only deficit in the match and tie the game 1-1. 

From the jump, it became clear neither group was going to go down without a fight. As a result of intense early movement, both groups were electric.

Hall stops Conard’s advances near the net. May 16, 2024. Photo credit: Bridget Bronsdon

With a tied score and an entire game still ahead of them, Conard took advantage of another opportunity. Thanks to stealthy ball control and swift movement, the Red Wolves netted their second goal of the game to gain a quick lead. 

For the better half of the first quarter, the Red Wolves and Titans bounced back and forth for dominance. For each shot the Titans fired off, the Red Wolves answered as both groups battled in a call-and-response style of play. 

With just four minutes left, Hall scored again to knock the Red Wolves back down to a 2-2 tie. With just moments left in the first quarter, Conard found the back of the net with 45 seconds left to nail a 3-2 upper hand. 

As the second quarter began, the Titans performed just as they did in the first by winning the opening draw and making a straight shot to the Conard keeper. Despite this early control, Hall was quickly overpowered by the Red Wolves. Conard made quick work of dismantling the Titan’s defensive line as they weaved their way through the defenders and earned their biggest advantage of the game, 4-2. 

Conard’s Maddy Sweeney taking a shot on goal while Hall’s Piper Garner-MacKinnon attempts a block. her May 16, 2024. Photo credit: Bridget Bronsdon

A brief timeout with just over five minutes left in the half was all Hall needed to get their head in the game. The Titans came out swinging from the brief intermission and notched another shot with 8:40 left to yet again close in on Conard’s lead. The next five minutes allowed for each team to demonstrate an upper hand but after maneuvering around the Titans’ goaltender, the Red Wolves netted their fifth goal of the match. 

It soon became clear that Conard’s attacking line was a well-oiled machine. In a swift sweeping motion, the Red Wolves earned another point for their biggest lead of the game, 6-3. Despite their shooting, Hall was not finished. With just 31 seconds left, the Titans upped the ante and changed the scoreboard to 6-4 to close out the half. 

Despite their deficit, Hall proved to themselves that they could remain composed yet intense. As for Conard, their offensive plays were relentless as they remained on the Titans’ doorstep. 

While the high school players took a halftime break, the West Hartford youth lacrosse girls took to the turf for a brief scrimmage. 

Following several minutes of encouraging words from their coaches and a quick pause to catch their breath, the athletes took the field for the second half. 

Samantha Shannon of Hall moves toward the Conard goal. May 16, 2024. Photo credit: Bridget Bronsdon

In the third quarter, Conard came alive. It appeared that there was no play too difficult for the Red Wolves as they weaved their way around the Titans to change the scoreboard 7-4 in just under a minute of play. Despite their rhythm in the first half, Hall appeared to struggle in the third and they had trouble stopping the Red Wolves advances. Conard’s Caroline Cersosimo, Olivia Hole, and Nicole Gorman were fantastic in directing the Red Wolves attacking line and driving the group to success.

Conard then advanced into an even more comfortable lead, 8-5, with just six minutes remaining in the third. The Red Wolves were relentless in their attacks as they netted their ninth goal after a fleet-footed run that swept up from behind the Titans’ goal. 

Despite Hall’s trouble cutting through the Conard’s defensive line, they remained calm and composed. Eventually, their work paid off as they notched a sixth goal and advanced 9-6 with just about four minutes left in the quarter. 

Annabel Tracy of Conard receives a pass after carrying the ball toward Hall’s goal. May 16, 2024. Photo credit: Bridget Bronsdon

For the remaining minutes, the duo went back and forth in their call-and-response power struggle style of play. Conard scored, and then Hall responded. It appeared as though the teams kept forcing each other into a higher level of gameplay. With 31 seconds left, Conard finalized the quarter 11-7 to create the healthiest lead possible for the final quarter.

With just one quarter standing in between Conard and victory, they had to maintain their level of athleticism. However, Hall wasn’t ready to give up. Just five minutes into the quarter, Hall brought the score to 11-8, doing everything in their power to diminish Conard’s lead. Hall sophomore Lucinda Gwiazdoski finished out an exceptionally phenomenal game with six shots and five goals. 

Despite their fantastic momentum, the middle of the quarter remained relatively quiet on the scoring front. As for Conard, Sweeney was a standout as she relentlessly ran the ball up and down the field. At 4:49, the Red Wolves brought the score 12-8 and then sealed the deal at 13-8 with just over one minute left in the contest. 

Even with Conard’s fantastic season record, now 14-2, a win against their cross-town counterpart may have been the cherry on top for the well-deserving team. As for the Titans, their work didn’t go unnoticed. Although they occasionally had trouble penetrating the Conard defense, they made terrific strides across the board and end the regular season 9-5.

Members of the Hall and Conard girl’s lacrosse squad on the move. May 16, 2024. Photo credit: Bridget Bronsdon

Hall’s Ashley Carlson carries the ball while Meryl Rung of Conard applies pressure. May 16, 2024. Photo credit: Bridget Bronsdon

Conard girl’s lacrosse celebrating after their win. May 16, 2024. Photo credit: Bridget Bronsdon

Like what you see here? Click here to subscribe to We-Ha’s newsletter so you’ll always be in the know about what’s happening in West Hartford! Click the blue button below to become a supporter of We-Ha.com and our efforts to continue producing quality journalism.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the author

Bridget Bronsdon

Leave a Comment

Translate »