NEW BRITAIN – The Simsbury under-12 girls lacrosse team won a gold medal in its 14-8 win over Ellington during the Nutmeg State Games 7-on-7 tournament on Sunday at Veterans Stadium.
Eight different players potted goals for Simsbury in the victory, which finished 5-0 on the day.
“It’s awesome,” Simsbury coach Catherine Diviney said. “It’s always a good feeling to win. This was a great tournament. My girls are super happy.”
The match started even as both teams were going back and forth to make it 6-6 about halfway through. Then six straight goals from Simsbury pushed it out of reach for Ellington, which suffered its first loss of the day to grab the silver medal.
“We got off to a slow start I think trading some goals, but then I think we got into the swing of things,” Diviney said. “We started moving the ball around more, making our passes and finding the back of the net.”
Charlotte Diviney, Catherine’s daughter, paced Simsbury with four goals and also won numerous draws throughout the contest. Alice Li was next with a hat trick, while Evelyn Cohen and Scarlett Staehle each netted a pair. Alexandra Wallace, Charlotte Tyler and Soren Harris slotted single strikes.
While Simsbury’s offense clicked in the gold medal game, its performance at the other end of the field allowed the group to reach that position during its four round-robin games.
“I think our girls played some really good defense, especially in one of our tougher bracket games,” Diviney said. “We told them to leave it all on the field and stay matched up and stick like glue to their girls and they did a good job.”
The numbers match the sentiment as Simsbury allowed 21 goals all tournament, the fewest among any of the nine teams, and scored 39, which only trailed East Greenwich’s (Rhode Island) 55 total goals.
Ellington concluded with similar statistics as its gold medal game counterpart as it scored 36 goals and gave up 23.
Sunday’s finish marked an impressive improvement from the Simsbury squad as two years ago, it didn’t even reach the medal round of the Nutmeg Games, according to Diviney.
“Two years off from a sport is always tricky,” Diviney said. “Some people come back having played, some people come back further behind where they were before. This year has been a tough year for lacrosse.”
As the year-round coach, Diviney felt encouraged about this past season as a whole following a strong showing at Veterans Stadium.
“I thought we had a really successful spring season as well,” Diviney said. “This is a great group of girls and they get along really well, which means they communicate well on the field, they’re really friendly both on and off, which I think is awesome.”
Simsbury’s under-14 team fell in the bronze medal match Saturday in a 9-1 loss to Guilford Youth.
Ryan Ames can be reached at 860-801-5094 or on Twitter @_RyanAmes.