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  • Greg Lederer

Rams Girls' Lacrosse And Boys' Volleyball Teams Punch Tickets To State Semifinals

On Friday, Cheshire girls' lacrosse qualified for the state semis for the first time since 2018. Photo by Greg Lederer.

Lacrosse player Tylie Lawless looks for an open teammate against Farmington. Photo by James Brandolini.

For CHS girls' lacrosse, Sarah Mollin scored a goal in the Class L quarterfinals. Photo by James Brandolini.

by Greg Lederer

Cheshire Sports Media

On May 13 at Alumni Field, the Cheshire High School girls’ lacrosse team came away frustrated after falling 8-7 to Farmington in overtime.

On Friday, the teams came back together on the same field, but this time, the Rams celebrated after the final whistle of their Class L quarterfinal. Cheshire (fourth seed, 11-8) built a 5-2 halftime lead en route to winning 9-5 over the River Hawks (fifth seed, 16-4).

“It felt really good that we could show most importantly ourselves that we were able to do it, especially going into the rest of the tournament,” explained sophomore Tema Caplan. “That fueled us to come into this game and really want it.”

CHS never trailed after jumping ahead on two goals by senior Stella Tessier. Caplan assisted on the second goal.

A goal by senior Lile Chekas allowed Farmington cut the deficit in half with 45 seconds left in the first quarter, but CHS opened the second with goals from junior Helen Baxter and Caplan.

Tessier and junior Sarah Goldstein had assists on those goals.

Chekas found the back of the net again, however, sophomore Lauren Kilpatrick scored to put the Rams up 5-2 at halftime.

“The girls came out ready to play,” stated Head Coach Dan Warburton. “They played very well today.”

The Rams used a 4-0 run to gain separation at the start of the third quarter. Kilpatrick, Caplan, Tessier, and sophomore Sarah Mollin contributed goals to propel the Rams to a 9-2 advantage.

Kilpatrick also had an assist.

Tessier missed considerable time to injury in the regular season, but she is happy to be back for the final stretch.

“I think it (the hat trick) was a good comeback for me because it was a struggle coming back from the injury,” stated Tessier. “I’m very happy about it.”

Chekas netted her third goal with 25.8 remaining in the third quarter. Farmington senior Skylar Osakowicz and sophomore Caroline Ranucci scored in the fourth, but the Rams still pulled out the victory.

Backed up by sophomore goalkeeper Georgiana Sheehan (six saves), the Rams gave up just five goals on defense.

“We only gave up two goals through almost three quarters,” reflected Warburton. “The defense has been on point all season.”

“They (the defensive unit) have had our backs for the whole season and they didn’t disappoint,” added Sella Cahill, a senior tri-captain with Tessier and Kate Hangen.

CHS has reached the semifinals for the first time since 2018. On June 4, Cheshire will face Masuk (top seed, 18-3) at a time and site to be determined.

“We’re going to get fired up,” added Hangen.

Lacrosse player Sarah Goldstein scoops a ground ball against Farmington. Photo by James Brandolini.

Lacrosse goalkeeper Georgiana Sheehan gets support from teammates Mollee Merritt (left) and Madeleine Tessier (right). Photo by James Brandolini.

Boys’ Volleyball (third seed, 21-3)

In the Class M quarterfinals, the Rams won 3-1 (25-16, 25-18, 25-27, 25-20) over Newtown (sixth seed, 17-7) to extend their win streak to 13 matches.

“It feels amazing,” said senior Will Allen, of winning his final home match. “I’ve been out here so many times. It feels like over 100 games I’ve played here. It was a good game for my final game. It was amazing to win it. I’m so happy.”

Cheshire jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the quarterfinal.

“It was huge,” stated Allen, a tri-captain with senior Connor Hayes and junior Matti Lilback. “We knew that we had to come out strong. That is what helped us the last time we played them (on May 9). The last time, we beat them, 3-0, and we came out super strong in the beginning. They were rattled and they couldn’t come back. I think that is what happened for the first two (sets) today. It helped us tremendously.”

Newtown pulled out the third set, but CHS won game four to clinch the victory.

“I just wanted to win game one. I thought it was real important to win game one and then we got to game two, but then I was very unhappy with how we came out in game three,” reflected Head Coach Sue Bavone. “We’ll talk about it a little bit. They just got it in their heads and got worried about messing up I think and playing not to lose it (the set). We can’t just take our foot off the gas.”

Cheshire utilized a deep hitting group on Friday. Allen earned 14 kills, three blocks, and three digs, while Hayes tallied 11 kills, four digs, three aces, two blocks, and an assist.

Junior Jacob D’Addona posted 10 kills, five digs, three aces, and a block. Junior Gordon Johns (seven digs) and Lilback (block) both had six kills, two aces, and an assist.

Sophomore Bradley Fang distributed 39 assists, along with recording three kills, two digs, an ace, and a block. Junior Jake Tierney added two assists and two digs.

On June 4, the Rams will meet Joel Barlow (second seed, 21-1) in the semifinals at a site and time to be announced. On April 29, Barlow pulled out a 3-2 win over CHS.

“We are just happy to be playing. It doesn’t matter who we have to face. It just happens to be they (Barlow) are who we are going to play,” stated Bavone. “I hope we are going to be ready. That is why you are in the tournament.”

Volleyball setter Bradley Fang posted 39 assists, three kills, two digs, an ace, and a block against Newtown. Photo by Greg Lederer.

Saturday’s varsity schedule:

Boys’ Lacrosse (top seed, 15-4)

In their Class L quarterfinal, Cheshire hosts Fairfield Warde (ninth seed, 11-6) at 3 p.m.

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