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The Morgan girls’ lacrosse squad has started off the 2019 season on the right foot. After going 4-12 last year, the Huskies have already won a pair of games and are 2-1 this spring. Head Coach William Lindsay’s team has its sights set on reaching the postseason with seven returning starters.
Morgan played three home games last week, starting off with a 16-10 loss against Valley Regional on April 1. Three days later, the Huskies earned a 15-10 victory versus Waterford. Then on April 6, Morgan routed St. Bernard by the final score of 16-1.
Coach Lindsay knew that Valley Regional would be a tough opponent, but he felt his team recovered well following the loss. Lindsay believes the Huskies are closing the gap with the Warriors and was pleased to see them hang on to their lead against a feisty Waterford squad.
“We took away some of [Valley’s] offense, but they made adjustments. We lost to them twice last year, and this was a more competitive game,” said Lindsay, who’s in his second year as Morgan’s head coach. “With Waterford, we had a good lead at halftime, and they came out fast and battled back. We had a lot of big saves in the second half that helped secure the win.”
Against Valley, junior Maddie Stopkoski had six goals with two assists, while senior captain Olivia McCray scored two goals for the Huskies. Sophomore Lindsay Narracci (1 goal, 2 assists), senior captain Erin Lindsay (1 goal, 4 draws), Kathryn Barrillaro (1 assist), and Carley Schmidt (1 assist) also contributed to the score sheet. Versus Waterford, Stopkoski scored six goals, and fellow senior Joelle Vuilleumier posted five goals. Other scorers included McCray (2 goals, 1 assist, 4 draws) and Lindsay (2 goals, 1 assist, 3 draws). Junior Amber Corrigan, junior Delaney Mastirano, and sophomore Carley Schmidt each had one assist.
Morgan closed out its week with a 16-1 victory over St. Bernard. Coach Lindsay had the chance to get a lot of athletes some playing time and said the win provided a big boost for his club.
“Olivia and Erin did a good job of winning control. We had a lot of possession in the first half,” Lindsay said. “We worked on running our offense and got opportunities for different people. It’s good to build confidence in a game like that.”
Stopkoski notched six goals with three assists, while Narracci had three goals and two assists for Morgan. McCray (2 goals, 1 assist, 3 draws), Vuilleumier (2 goals, 1 assist), Lindsay (1 goal, 1 assist, 3 draws), Mastriano (1 goal), Schmidt (1 goal), Corrigan (1 assist), and junior Aryn McQuarrie (1 assist) also helped the Huskies come away with the blowout.
Morgan’s senior captains are defender Grace Roman, midfielder Olivia McCray, and midfielder Erin Lindsay. Coach Lindsay said that all three captains have a wealth of experience that complements their abilities on the field.
“Grace has played all four years as a starter. She anchors and leads our defense with three returning starters. Olivia takes a lot of our draws, and she’s done well so far. Getting us possession is a big part of the game, and she’s a big part of the offense,” said Lindsay. “Erin’s our emotional leader. She leads by example with her effort. She does a good job transitioning the ball from defense to offense.”
One of Morgan’s biggest offensive threats is junior attacker Maddie Stopkoski. Stopkoski already has 18 goals and five assists this season.
“Maddie’s off to a fantastic start. She’s a dynamic player, and she’s the focal point of our offense,” Coach Lindsay said. “She’s a three-year starter, and she’s grown into a leader. She wants the ball, and she’s being aggressive taking on defenders.”
Lindsay also feels confident in junior goalkeeper Cassidy Shepard and her ability to come up with big stops.
“Cassidy does a great job keeping us in games, and she’s started really well,” said Lindsay. “Waterford had a second-half comeback, and she made some big saves down the stretch.”
Coach Lindsay wants to see his team secure a playoff spot this year, and the Huskies are off to a good start. In the end, Lindsay knows that it’s important for his athletes to learn more about lacrosse and get better as the season goes on.
“Our stretch goal is to make states, and we need to get seven wins to do that. We’re in a competitive conference. The top four teams all made states, and North Branford made the semis,” said Lindsay. “We want to improve. We want to be in that top four in the Shorelines and get to those seven wins.”
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