Seniors lead eager group of younger players

Shelton celebrates its first victory of the season. Led by captains Isabella Vasser, Avalina Maurati, and Kayla Bretan, the Gaelettes defeated Lyman Hall 11-7.

Shelton celebrates its first victory of the season. Led by captains Isabella Vasser, Avalina Maurati, and Kayla Bretan, the Gaelettes defeated Lyman Hall 11-7.

Shelton High Athletics / Contributed photo

Shelton girls’ lacrosse Jeff Lever believes the number game favors the Gaelettes going forward.

“Last year we topped out at 23 players. This year we are sitting at 31,” he said. “Our numbers are better, but very inexperienced. Our new players have been a pleasant surprise. We have got a few freshmen to play on varsity (9 in all). My sophomore class is good. We have a good group of juniors. I only wish I had an extra year with them. Coming off that gap year was rough. The SCC has realigned the league. We will be in Tier 3 with more evenly matched opponents across the board.”

Shelton defeated Lyman Hall 11-7 after it dropped the first two games of the season.

Senior captains Isabella Vasser, Avalina Maurati, and Kayla Bretan can all play attack or midfield.

“Our captains are held to a higher standard. The young girls see that. Erin Bishop (attack-midfield) and Alyssa Dymerski (defense) are our other seniors. All five seniors are great teammates,” Lever said. “A lot of the girls are here before practice begins and are working on individual skills. That is how it has got to be. It can’t be two hours at practice and that’s it. They understand that. They want to get better. I love their attitude.

“Improving overall stick skills is what we are working on. You need those skills to be successful. We have got to reduce the times that we turn the ball over. We are working to get a core group of 11 players.”

Shelton made states in 2018, struggled in 2019 and didn’t have a season in 2020. Last year was one of transition.

Lever said: “We have a good group of younger players that love playing the game. Now that things are getting back to normal, we’ll get more participation. The gap year hit everyone hard. Teams lost players. Each of our girls are looking for something to get better at each day.”

Winning faceoffs, maintaining possession, and limiting unforced errors are watchwords of perennial contenders. Shelton is working on all three.

“Taking our draw are junior Kayleigh Bartlett and sophomore Scarlet Hajducky. They are getting better,” Lever said “The three girls around the circle must be physical to win that loose ball on faceoffs. It is a baptism by fire. Some are playing varsity lacrosse for the first time. I do ask a lot from the younger girls.”

Allison Wurms is in goal.

“Allison is going to be some goalie by the time she is a senior,” Lever said of his sophomore, who is starting for the second straight season. “She is all in. I sort of kidnapped her last year and told her she was going to be a keeper. She went home and realized her uncle had played goalie in college. That is all she needed to hear. Over the summer she went to camps. Ally has improved 10-fold. She knows what she’s doing.”

Junior Kayla Falanga and sophomore Carmella DeFeo anchor the defense.

“They understand where they need to be. They bring physicality to the position, which is important. They are good communicators, which makes a defense tick. I also have Tiffany Montoya and Mary Porto on defense. If we get a turnover, all four can break out,” Lever said. Twitter: @blox354