Ridgefield girls lax edges Greenwich in state quarterfinals

Caitlin Slaminko's goal with just over 11 minutes to play turned out to be the game-winner as the Ridgefield High girls lacrosse team defeated host Greenwich, 7-6, in the Class L state quarterfinals Thursday.

The sixth-seeded Tigers (13-6 overall) will now play second-seed Cheshire in the semifinals next Tuesday (June 5) at a site and time to be determined. The winner of that game meets either top-seed Darien or fifth-seed New Canaan in the state finals June 9 at Jonathan Law High School in Milford (time TBA).

Seeded third in Class L, Greenwich entered Thursday's game as the favorite after beating Ridgefield twice this season — most recently in the FCIAC quarterfinals.

But after allowing a combined 33 goals in those two losses, the Tigers held Greenwich to single digits.

"The real factor to the win today was our defense," said Ridgefield head coach Cece Berger. "[Goalie] Lexi Held had seven saves and Erika Linka led the team with four forced turnovers. Ellie O'Connor and Bella Carrozza each had two forced turnovers. Mae Briody had five loose ball possessions, and Maeve Tobin and Caitlin Slaminko each had four and Caroline Curnal had three."

Greenwich took a 1-0 lead before Ridgefield got the tying goal from Briody on an assist from Tobin with 15:46 left in the first half.

The Tigers scored three more unanswered goals to go ahead 4-1, but Greenwich responded with two goals to close within 4-3. Slaminko then scored with 23 seconds left in the opening half to give Ridgefield a 5-3 lead at the break.

The Cardinals tied the game at 5-5 and then again at 6-6 before Slaminko converted off a free position with 11:06 to play. Held and the Ridgefield defense kept Greenwich scoreless the rest of the way to preserve the one-goal victory.

Slaminko finished with three goals for the Tigers. Curnal added two goals and Briody and Tobin each had one goal. Tobin contributed two assists and Aly Gagnon had one assist.