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Mariella Biceglia tied up the game by scoring a goal late in regulation when the North Haven Warriors’ girls’ lacrosse team took a 12-11 overtime loss against Wallingford on July 27. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)
Callie Kessler and the Warriors continue to make strides this summer and will look to put their first victory of the year in the books this week. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)
North Haven Head Coach Bernie Pellegrino said that attacking wing Sophia Dorio (pictured) turned in some solid performances during the Warriors’ recent contests. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)
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The North Haven Warriors girls’ lacrosse squad took a few defeats in the Dream League last week, but Head Coach Bernie Pellegrino remains impressed with his team’s refusal to quit, as well as his athletes’ commitment to get better every time they take the field. Pellegrino believes that these characteristics can translate to a win or two for the Warriors as they head into the home stretch of their regular season.
North Haven took a 13-5 loss to Guilford, lost a 12-11 overtime contest against Wallingford, and then dropped a 14-7 decision to Branford in its last three Dream League matchups. The Warriors will finish the regular season with games versus divisional opponents West Haven, Madison, and Branford this week.
On July 25, North Haven hit the road to square off against the Guilford Seahawks, the team with the best record in the Dream League. Guilford scored six of the first seven goals of the game and came away with a 13-5 victory over the Warriors in a North Division matchup.
Despite the early deficit, Coach Pellegrino said that North Haven gained its composure and battled the Seahawks tough for the rest of the game. Pellegrino was pleased to see goalie Hannah Sommer withstand the early flurry from Guilford and finish the contest with nine saves, in addition to making seven clears in transition. Pellegrino said that he’s seen tremendous progress throughout the season from Sommer, who came into the campaign having never made a varsity start in net.
Pellegrino added that Sommer received support from the Warriors’ young core of defenders during the game. The coach noted excellent performances from Zaina Gebril, Sophie Barra, and Lauren Boegart, along with key contributions by Erin Johns and Sophia Melillo.
Coach Pellegrino also credited defensive wings Riley Minns and Emma Kirkaldie for playing well at both ends of the field versus Guilford. Minns scored two goals for North Haven, while Lorelei King led the offense with three goals in the game. Mariella Biceglia had an assist with four shots on goal and also collected three ground balls. The Warriors’ offense was further spurred by contributions from Eliza O’Connor, Sophia Dorio, Emma Pine, Juliana Wittig, and Hayly Caruso.
On July 27, North Haven played a road game against a Wallingford West Side team that it lost to by a 12-11 score in overtime just 10 days earlier. The rematch was another classic, but unfortunately for the Warriors, it ended with the same result as Wallingford netted the winning goal in overtime to claim its second-straight 12-11 victory against North Haven.
Biceglia tallied two goals for North Haven, including one with just 17 seconds left in regulation that tied the score at 11-11. Biceglia’s equalizer capped off a comeback that saw the Warriors storm back from a two-goal deficit with four minutes on the clock and send the game to OT. North Haven gained the initial possession in the sudden-victory overtime period, but Wallingford was able to take control of the ball and put home the deciding goal to win it.
Aside from Biceglia, the Warriors also received two goals apiece from Callie Kessler, Emma Gambardella, and King on the day. Shea Saracino, O’Connor, and Minns each added one goal. Coach Pellegrino said that he was encouraged by solid performances from Dorio, Pine, Caruso, Wittig, and Gianna Mastroianni. He added that Christina DeAngelo’s vast experience on the field played a big part in helping the Warriors keep pace with Wallingford. Pellegrino also said that newcomer Caleigh Mangulli, a recent graduate of Deerfield Academy, made valuable contributions for North Haven in the game.
The Warriors also gave a great effort on the defensive end of the field to try and slow down Wallingford’s offense. Sommer made 11 saves between the pipes for North Haven and was supported by solid play on defense from Gebril, Barra, Boegart, Melillo, Kirkaldie, and Mackenzie White.
North Haven finished up its week by hosting the Branford Sting on July 29. The Warriors held a 7-6 lead at halftime, but Branford scored eight unanswered goals in the second half on its way to a 14-7 victory.
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