The fact that the Weston High girls varsity lacrosse team had defeated Bethel by nine goals during the regular season did not guarantee the South-West Conference Division II title game would be a walk in the park.
The Trojans knew Bethel would be an improved team since then. It was not until the last few minutes of the game that the top-seeded Trojans began to have the better of play while pulling ahead for a 12-8 win on Thursday, May 25, at Bunnell High for their first-ever league crown.
“I thought it was going to be really closer,” said Weston head coach Megan Borman, whose team defeated Bethel 19-10 in April. “They’re a really close group.”
While Weston led for most of the contest the Wildcats remained a constant threat. Clinging to 4-3 lead with just over seven minutes to go in the first half, the Trojans received a little breathing room with Lindsay Koch netting her second tally of the game.
Bethel still cut the gap to one until senior captain Catie Ledwick took the rebound of her shot initially saved by Bethel goalie Emily Platt and sent it into the net to keep it a two-goal game.
“We knew they were going to be tough,” said Ledwick. “We were playing our hardest to the end.”
With just over a minute to go Frances Holmes came through and the Trojans appeared to be in good shape at halftime with a 7-4 advantage.
Bethel’s, biggest threat, however, came early in the second half. Between having an advantage in draw controls and forcing Weston turnovers the Wildcats came storming back with three straight goals by Serina Ghio in the span of six minutes to tie the score.
But as Weston began to fare better on the draws and possess the ball they regrouped in time. Fran Holmes scored on a free position play to break an 8-8 tied with 14:04 to go and Abbie Chepolis and Ledwick also scored, the latter’s fourth goal of the contest was also the 100th of her high school career.
“I got really intense,” said Ledwick, who has been battling patella tendinitis in her left knee. “There was no way I was going to let us lose this.
Besides finishing with four goals and an assist, she was named the Most Valuable Player for the tournament. Holmes scored three goals with an assist and Koch netted two. Nicole DeCanio (one assist) and Chepolis each scored one apiece.
Weston will now take part in the state Class S tournament starting this week.