Fate – and some might say the referee – was not on the side of the Wildcat girls’ lacrosse team yesterday evening, when, after the fiercest of battles at Waterford High School, and with just a single second left on the clock, Stonington scored the goal that defeated the ‘Cats 12-11 and took the Bears into the CIAC Class S final.
It was a cruel twist in a game in which Old Lyme had fought back to equalize time and again, overtaking Stonington by a goal at 10-9, only for the Bears to come back this time with an equalizer. First-year coach Emily Maccione’s girls never gave up and — constantly urged on by the enormous crowd of their fans — it seemed as if the girls were beginning to sense victory precisely when the cruelest card of that last second goal was played.
To their credit, the Old Lyme girls continued to play with their heads held high until the almost immediate final whistle and then, despite their broken hearts, they graciously shook the hands of the victors with the utmost composure.
To retain such grace in the face of bitter disappointment was a victory of different kind — not one which will give much consolation at this time, but one which will stand the test of time and make this team proud in years to come.
Congratulation, Wildcats and coaches — you went down fighting to the last second and made us all extremely proud!