NEW CANAAN, Conn. – Sarah Mannelly scored her fourth goal of the afternoon with seven minutes to play, breaking the ninth tie of the game in the highly anticipated matchup of unbeaten New Canaan and Greenwich girls lacrosse teams. Mannelly’s heroics put the Rams up for good in a thrilling 12-10 victory for unbeaten New Canaan.
Mannelly and sidekick Olivia Hompe continued their season-long tag team, combining for nine of New Canaan’s 12 goals. Lily Citrin added a pair of goals and Bea Eppler added a key score early in the second half when the Rams briefly trailed.
The rain-soaked game was as good as advertised, as the top two teams in the state traded goal for goal throughout the game. Neither team had a lead greater than two goals at any point in the game.
New Canaan had the edge in time of possession and winning draws, but Greenwich goalie Hannah Jeffrey almost singlehandedly kept the Cardinals neck-and-neck with the Rams. Jeffrey racked up 12 saves, including several highlight reel stops on Hompe and Mannelly.
“Our younger girls and our veterans came out a little tentative with our shooting. I just told the girls at halftime to look before they shot,” New Canaan head coach Kristin Wood said. “I’m really looking forward to seeing Greenwich again in the” conference tournament.
The Rams offense slowed the game to a crawl in the second half, however, content to take its time and wear down the Greenwich defense. Mannelly finally cracked Jeffrey to keep the Rams’ perfect season alive.
“I think we do a good job of keeping our composure, making good passes and smart decisions late in the game,” the Boston College-bound Mannelly said. “There were a few times I was getting a little anxious, but we took our time and waited for a good play.”
With three games remaining in the regular season, New Canaan (13-0) hosts St. Joseph on Thursday for a 7 p.m. game.