McKenzie Farquharson slips away from the defense (top) and looks to make a play (bottom) against Staples, May 31, 2012. Photos courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 

Aldana Rodriguez moves up the field against Amity, May 19, 2012. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 

Staples ends season for Westies
Wreckers post 20-8 victory in opening round of state tournament
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(May 31, 2012) –
 The West Haven girls’ lacrosse team knew they were in for a battle when they traveled to Westport to play fourth-seeded Staples in the opening round of the CIAC Class L state tournament Thursday evening. That battle came to fruition as the Wreckers had nine players in the scoring column of a 20-8 victory over No. 13 West Haven at Staples. 
Jessie Ambrose was a thorn in West Haven’s side as she scored four times and added five assists. Paige Murray also scored four times, while Ryan Kirshner and Remy Nolan each had three goals and an assist. 
Ambrose and Kirshner scored 2 minutes, seven seconds apart in the first half for a 2-0 lead with 6:49 gone by in the game. West Haven (8-9) pressured Staples’ goalie Kirsten Flicker and finally broke through when Julia Consorte scored with 11:44 remaining in the first half. 
The missed opportunities before Consorte’s goal would come back to haunt the Westies as Staples scored the next three goals. Murray gave the Wreckers a 3-1 lead with 6:46 to go in the half and Nolan increased the margin 43 seconds later. When Emily Goldberg scored with 3:24 remaining, Staples led 5-1. 
McKenzie Farquharson answered for West Haven just 32 seconds later to get the deficit back to three goals, but the Wreckers put the game away with three goals in 35 seconds for an 8-2 lead. 
Just 35 seconds after Farquharson’s goal, Nolan scored, before Ambrose followed 11 seconds later. Murray’s goal with 1:42 remaining in the first half increased the margin to 8-2 and the Westies never recovered. 
West Haven got as close as 8-4 on another goal by Farquharson 46 seconds into the second half but West Haven scored just once in the next 12 minutes, trailed 16-5 and never threatened again.

Amity spoils Senior Day
Westies fall in regular season finale
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
WEST HAVEN (May 19, 2012) –
  Looking to send seniors Kaprice Blatche, McKenzie Farquharson, Jasmine Johnson and Ariana Marcello out on a high note, the West Haven girls’ lacrosse team fell just short Saturday afternoon against Amity. Despite four goals and two assists from Farquharson, the Westies fell to Amity 15-13 at Ken Strong Stadium.
The loss dropped West Haven to 8-8 and will put the Westies on the road when the CIAC state pairings are announced.
“We played better than our last game,” West Haven coach Chrystal Fanelli said. “We played harder. We just came up short.”
Junior Sam Young, who scored three times in the game, got things started as she gave West Haven a 1-0 lead. Amity responded by scoring the next four goals in a span of 4 minutes, 52 seconds. Alicia Cardella scored twice and Kelli Rafferty added the final goal in the run as Amity never trailed again.
“We scored early and they came right back,” Fanelli said. “We kept getting close but we could not get even.”
Farquharson scored her first goal of the game 2:08 after Rafferty and Leah Morrissey scored 32 seconds later off an assist from Allyson Hemstock to cut the deficit to 4-3.
The Westies had three possessions to even the game but could not do so. Young rang the post once then sailed a shot wide and Farquharson’s blistering shot sailed over the net.
Amity then put the game away, scoring the next five goals. Cardella scored twice in the run for a 9-3 Amity lead.
The Westies responded with three goals in 1:44 to pull within 9-6 at the half. Farquharson scored the first two, then assisted on Julia Consorte’s goal with 1:21 to go before halftime.
The Spartans scored three of the first four goals in the second half to take a 12-7 lead. Candice Kross cut the deficit to 10-7 and Young’s second of the day with 13:45 cut the Amity lead to 12-8.
Trailing 14-9 with 6:03 to go in the game, West Haven scored in a hurry. Carly Brereton scored 24 seconds after Amity took a five goal lead and Kross followed with her second of the game 1:31 later.
When Ava Gambardella set up Young’s goal with 2:06 to go, West Havenwas within two at 14-12.
“We kept getting close, but we couldn’t get the stop we needed,” Fanelli said. “I was happy the offense was spread out.”
That was as close as the Westies got as Amity scored nine seconds later. Farquharson’s fourth of the game with 52 seconds remaining was the final tally of the game. 
Sam Palmieri made 14 saves in the loss for West Haven.

Westies fall to Mercy
Strong second half propels Tigers
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(May 17, 2012) –
 Looking to improve its seeding for the upcoming state tournament, the West Haven girls’ lacrosse team let one get away Thursday afternoon. The Westies led at the half but gave up six goals in the second half as Mercy defeated West Haven 9-8 in Middletown.
As has been the case all year, West Haven relied on its top scorers to get on the scoreboard. With Ava Gambardella still out with an injury, Sam Young, Candice Kross and McKenzie Farquharson did the scoring.
Young and Kross each scored three goals, while Farquharson netted two more. Carly Brereton added an assist in the loss.
Mercy was led by Morgan McNulty and Sarah Bower, each scoring three times.
Sam Palmieri made eight saves in the loss for West Haven (8-7), while Mercy’s Meghan Garrity came up with 13.

Westies fall to Lauralton
Six goals by Farquharson not enough in loss
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
WEST HAVEN (May 10, 2012) –
 Looking to avenge an earlier season loss to Lauralton Hall, the West Haven girls’ lacrosse team knew they had to stop Christina Gould and Allison Carey. Planning is one thing. Executing is another.
Carey and Gould combined for 13 goals as the Crusaders defeated West Haven 17-10 at Ken Strong Stadium Thursday evening. With the victory, Lauralton improved to 8-4, while the Westies fell to 8-6.
“They help us win games,” Lauralton coach Joanne Zuk said of Carey and Gould. “They have great shots and they know how to move around and move the goalie.”
Gould set the tone of the game early, scoring Lauralton’s first three goals and finishing the game with seven.  Carey finished with six goals.
After Sam Young scored just 33 seconds into the game, West Haven never led again. Gould scored the next three goals within 1 minute, 27 seconds and Carey scored her first of the game for a 4-1 lead.
McKenzie Farquharson, who finished the game with six goals, scored her first 11 seconds later and Young scored with 13:58 to go in the half to cut the deficit to 4-3.
Lauralton pulled away by winning all the loose balls and playing solid defense. The Crusaders forced West Haven into low quality shots, with goalie Caitlin Bennett making the saves.
“Our defense stepped up,” Zuk said. “We talked about it at the half. “We knew they had some girls who liked to drive to the cage and we had to double-team them. We wanted to help sliding across. We did not want to leave anyone open.”
Read the rest of this article in the Milford-Orange Bulletin 
here

State Tournament Bound
Westies clinch berth in postseason with win over Shelton
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(May 7, 2012) – 
The West Haven girls’ lacrosse team is going to the postseason. With a 10-8 victory over Shelton, the Westies improved to 8-5 Monday evening in Shelton. 
“This was our eighth win of the season so that means we will definitely make states,” West Haven coach Chrystal Fanelli said. “The whole team was really excited.” 
As has been the case all year, the Westies saw the offense spread out with seven different players in the scoring column. McKenzie Farquharson scored three times, Julia Consorte scored twice an added an assist and Ava Gambardella scored once and added two assist in the postseason-clinching victory. 
Consorte wasted no time getting the Westies on the scoreboard as she put the ball in the net just 1 minute, five seconds into the game. With the game even at one, Farquharson scored with 13:10 to go in the first half for a 2-1 lead. 
The game would continue to go back and forth as Sydney Spadinger evened the game for Shelton and Sam Young gave the Westies the lead again 1:01 later. The Gaels scored the next two goals as Katie McGinnis put the Gaels ahead 4-3 with 1:03 to go in the half. 
Less than 25 seconds later, West Haven tied the game with 38.4 seconds remaining as Consorte set up Allyson Hemstock to even the game at four. 
The teams continued to trade goals until the game was tied at seven. Gambardella, Consorte and Farquharson accounted for the West Haven goals before the Westies took off. 
West Haven turned the game around in a span of 6:16, scoring three times. Carly Brereton scored off an assist from Gambardella with 6:59 left and Candice Kross extended the lead to 9-7 just 58 seconds later. Gambardella set up Farquharson with 5:23 to go for the insurance goal and West Haven hung on for the victory. 
“We were neck and neck right up until the end,” Fanelli said. “We scored three goals in a little under two minutes and held on to the lead from there. 
“The girls played smart. Jasmine Johnson, Jordan Brereton and Alyssa Maddern all played great on defense. Sam Palmieri was really strong in goal tonight. Carly Brereton did a great job of getting the ball on the draws. We had a lot of good team work on offense.”
West Haven held a 31-17 shot advantage in the game. Sam Palmieri finished with nine saves in the win.    

Farquharson and Young lead Westies
Duo scores three goals each in 10-7 win
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(May 2, 2012) –
 Looking to avenge an earlier season loss to Stratford, theWest Haven girls’ lacrosse team had the perfect formula. Three goals apiece from McKenzie Farquharson and Sam Young and two more from Carly Brereton propelled the Westies to a 10-7 victory over the Red Devils Wednesday evening at Ken Strong Stadium.
With the victory, West Haven won its second straight contest and improved to 7-5. Stratford fell to 4-5.
“Winning this game meant a lot for us,” West Haven coach Chrystal Fanelli said. “Now, we just have to keep it up. We did a lot of good things tonight. Overall, the girls just played a lot smarter than we have been.”
The Westies wasted no time taking a 1-0 lead as Brereton beat Stratfordgoaltender Margaret Lefever just 3 minutes into the game. The Red Devils answered with a pair of goals in 1:45, but that would be the last time the Red Devils led in the game.
West Haven scored the next five goals and never looked back, taking a 6-2 lead. Young gave West Haven the lead with two straight goals, 1:31 apart for a 3-2 lead.
Ava Gambardella increased the lead to 4-2, 1:28 later, and Farquharson got on the board 49 seconds later, scoring twice within 13 seconds for a 6-2 lead.
Stratford’s Abigail Cerone scored the next two goals, the latter 2:34 into the second half to cut the Stratford deficit to 6-4. Maggie Bodington made things interesting with another goal 2:12 later, but West Haven took control once again with the next four goals.
Farquharson gave West Haven a 7-5 lead with 15:24 left and Brereton increased the lead to 8-5 with 8:41 remaining. Just 1:12 later, Young’s third goal of the game gave West Haven a 9-5 lead.
Allyson Hemstock increased West Haven’s lead to 10-5 with 5:40 remaining. Remembering the late dramatics of the first game between the two teams, Cerone scored twice in less than two minutes but it was not enough for Stratford.
“Ava Gambardella did a great job of controlling the ball and keeping it in our offense when we got closer to the end of the game,” Fanelli said. “Last time we played them, they scored three goals in the last five minutes of the game, so we knew we had to keep possession.”
Sam Palmieri made 14 saves in the win for West Haven.
“Sam Palmieri was awesome tonight,” Fanelli said. “She had fourteen saves. This was one of her best games all season. We gave them a few eight meter shots, but Sam did a great job at blocking them.”

Westies End Skid
Gambardella scores 6 times in 13-7 win
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(May 1, 2012) –
 Losers of four straight games, the West Haven girls’ lacrosse team was looking for a spark. That spark came in the form of Ava Gambardella.
Gambardella scored six times and assisted on another as West Haven finally got back on the winning track with a 13-7 win over Morgan. With the victory, West Haven improved to 6-5.
“This was a good game for us,” West Haven coach Chrystal Fanelli said. “After four straight losses, we needed this win. Hopefully we can keep up the momentum now.”
Gambardella wasted no time giving the Westies the lead as she scored twice in 13 seconds for a 2-0 advantage. The West Haven sophomore then set up Julia Consorte with 4 minutes, 5 seconds gone by in the game fore a 3-0 lead.
“Ava Gambardella had a great game with six goals and an assist and Sam Palmieri made some great saves, ten total,” Fanelli said.
Sam Young increased West Haven’s lead to 4-0 just 45 seconds later off an assist from McKenzie Farquharson before Rory Smith answered for Morgan. Gambardella and Morgan’s Danielle Bristol traded goals before West Havenclosed the half with the last four goals.
The run marked a stretch of eight consecutive goals for the Westies and a 13-2 lead. Allyson Hemstock gave West Haven a 6-2 lead with 9:47 remaining in the half and Kaprice Blatche increased the margin with 4:55 remaining. Gambardella and Carly Brereton scored 12 seconds apart in the final 1:13 of the half for a 9-2 lead.
“We weren’t doing great with winning the draws in the past few games and our shots weren’t great,” Fanelli said. “Yesterday in practice we really focused on those things and it paid off today.”
Gambardella and Farquharson controlled the West Haven offense in the second half. Gambardella got things going 3:26 into the half and Farquharson followed with the next two goals5:36 apart. Gambardella closed out the West Haven scoring with 9:30 left for a 13-2 lead.
Morgan scored five times in the final 6:07, led by Kaitlyn Lucas’ two goals. Riley Musial, Cassie Cochrane and Caroline Best also scored in the stretch.
Sam Palmieri made 10 saves in the win for West Haven.

Sacred Heart outlasts Westies
WH falls to 5-5 with 20-12 setback
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
WEST HAVEN (April 28, 2012)
– In a game which saw 32 goals, it would be hard to believe the play of one goaltender was the difference in the game. Such was the case Saturday evening when Sacred Heart Academy met West Haven in girls’ lacrosse action at West Haven High.
Pacers’ senior goalie Andrea Antoni made 15 saves in the game, many of which were in key situations. Antoni’s saves allowed the Pacers to pull away and defeat the Westies 20-12 at Ken Strong Stadium.
“She made some great saves for us,” Sacred Heart coach Ron Zuk said of Antoni, who finished with 15 saves. “She helped turn the game around. They kept getting closer and she would stop them. Then the offense just took over.”
The play of Antoni allowed Sacred Heard to pull away several times after West Haven fought back from several goals down to come within a goal. The Westies never got the equalizer, coming within 6-5 and 9-8 but no closer.
“We did a good job getting ourselves back in it,” West Haven coach Chrystal Fanelli said. “We got within one or two goals but we kept making the same mistakes. I am disappointed with the loss. We knew this week was going to be a tougher week.”
Antoni made two big saves to start the second half with the Pacers ahead 8-6 as she denied West Haven’s Sam Young and Candice Kross within 30 seconds to preserve the lead. Leading 10-8, Antoni stopped McKenzie Farquharson with 16:20 go and the Pacers went on to score seven of the next eight goals. 
Read the rest of this article in the Milford-Orange Bulletin 
here

Westies fall to Guilford
Indians too much in 18-6 loss
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(April 25, 2012) – 
Through eight games of the regular season, the West Haven girls’ lacrosse team has been within striking distance or has come away with a victory. Such was not the case Wednesday evening in Guilford when the Westies fell to Guilford 18-6. 
The Indians jumped out to leads of 4-1 and 9-2 in the first half and West Haven never recovered. With the loss, West Haven fell to 5-4. 
“Guilford has always been a tough team, but we played the best we ever have against them” West Haven coach Chrystal Fanelli said. “Even though they had a significant lead, we never let up and we didn’t allow it to be an easy win for them.
“Our defense was strong. They played a good game. McKenzie Farquharson, Jordan Brereton and Alyssa Maddern did a good job marking their leading scorers. Carly Brereton and Allyson Hemstock also played a great game.”
Trailing 2-0 Farquharson put West Haven on the board 7 minutes, 30 seconds into the game. West Haven never got closer. 
Riley Smith and Hailey Jacobs answered with goals for Guilford before Julia Consorte set up Hemstock to cut the deficit to 4-2 with 12:27 to go in the half. 
Guilford dominated the rest of the half, scoring the next five goals. Carly Brereton ended the run with 1:25 remaining in the half off an assist from Ava Gambardella, but Guilford scored the first two goals of the second half to take an 11-3 lead. 
Farquharson scored the next two West Haven goals to bring the Westies within 11-5 but West Haven got no closer. Guilford again answered, scoring the next seven times to put the game away. 
Sam Young closed out the West Haven scoring. Sam Palmieri made 10 saves in the loss. 

Lauralton holds off Westies
WH in first losing streak of the year
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(April 24, 2012) –
 After starting the season with four straight victories, the West Haven girls’ lacrosse team was riding high. Things have hit a bit of a rocky patch.
Since that time, West Haven has lost three of its last four matches, including Tuesday afternoon’s 14-12 loss to Lauralton Hall. The loss, which dropped West Haven to 5-3, marked the second consecutive defeat to a South West Conference team after West Haven fell to Stratford on Saturday. 
“It was close the entire time,” West Haven coach Chrystal Fanelli said. “We are looking forward to playing them again in a couple of weeks because that’s a game we really felt we should have won.”
Offensively, West Haven continues to put up big numbers. The Westies are averaging 13 goals a game, having scored in double digits in all but one contest this year. 
Senior McKenzie Farquharson continued to lead the way Tuesday against Lauralton Hall. Farquharson scored five times and Candice Kross added three more, but they were not enough. Ava Gambardella continued her stellar season with a pair of goals and Allyson Hemstock and Carly Brereton each scored once in the loss.  
Trailing 2-0, Farquharson put the Westies on the board with 3 minutes, 48 seconds gone by in the game. Christina Gould restored Lauralton’s two goal lead 27 seconds later before Kross cut the deficit to 3-2 with 18:29 remaining in the half. 
Goals by Aubrey Lowe and Allison Carey extended the Crusaders’ lead to 5-2 but Gambardella and Kross scored 4:02 apart to bring West Haven within 5-4. Gould’s third of the game put Lauralton ahead by two once again before Brereton scored 13 seconds later for the Westies. 
Trailing 7-5, Farquharson and Gambardella scored in the final 2:06 of the first half to even the game. The tie did not last as Gould scored with 13 seconds left in the half, giving Lauralton an 8-7 lead. 
The Westies scored the first three goals of the second half to take a 10-7 lead. Farquharson scored 17 seconds in and Kross and Hemstock scored 12 seconds apart with 17:18 remaining. 
Lauralton answered with goals by Carey, Gould and Jackie Horne for an 11-10 lead. When Farquharson evened the game, West Haven had life with 7:32 to go. 
That life was taken away 31 seconds later when Carey scored the first of her two straight goals for a 13-11 lead. Farquharson scored with 53 seconds remaining to cut the deficit to 14-12 but it was not enough in the loss for West Haven. 
Gould led Lauralton with five goals and two assists and Carey scored four times for the Crusaders.

Stratford stuns Westies
Three goals in final six minutes propels Stratford over WH
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(April 21, 2012) –
 With six minutes left in regulation, the West Haven girls’ lacrosse team enjoyed a two-goal lead over Stratford. When the final horn sounded, the Red Devils had pulled the upset.
Scoring three times in the final 5 minutes, 46 seconds, Stratford defeated the Westies 12-11 in Stratford Saturday evening. The loss dropped West Havento 5-2, while Stratford improved to 2-3.
“This was a tough loss for us because it was a game we felt like we should have won,” West Haven coach Chrystal Fanelli said. “We didn’t come out as hard as we normally do in the beginning and it caught up with us.”
After Sam Young scored off an assist from McKenzie Farquharson with 10:15 to go, West Haven led 11-9. Stratford pulled the upset with the last three goals, including goals by Abby Cerone and Quincy Cayton 1:06 apart.
Young started the scoring in the game when she took a feed from Allyson Hemstock and scored 2:43 into the game. Chelsea Barstow tied the game forStratford before Carly Brereton gave West Haven a 2-1 lead with 18:35 remaining in the first half.
Cayton and Cerone scored 1:12 apart for a 3-2 Stratford lead until Julia Consorte set up Briana Algazali with the equalizer. Cayton scored 58 seconds later for Stratford but Candice Kross scored with 50.2 seconds to go in the half to tie the game at four.
After Stratford scored 18 seconds into the second half, West Haven scored the next four goals. Brereton evened the game at five with 23:09 remaining, Farquharson gave the Westies the lead 42 seconds later and Hemstock and Farquharson increased the lead to 7-5 with goals 31 seconds apart.
“We played a great second half and got a three-goal lead but Stratfordquickly came back,” Fanelli said. “Alyssa Maddern played exceptionally well on defense. We have her to thank for keeping the first half tied.”
Stratford quickly responded to even the game at eight with three straight goals. Lindsay Carroll scored 42 seconds after Farquharson, and added another 4:05 later. Maggie Bodington evened the game 1:09 later.
Farquharson put West Haven in front once again with a goal with 13:38 remaining, then set up Ava Gambardella 52 seconds later for a 10-8 lead.
“We have three tough games coming up this week,” Fanelli said. “We just have to focus on fixing the little mistakes from this game so we don’t make them again.”
Farquharson led West Haven with three goals and two assists. Brereton and Young each scored twice and Hemstock and Gambardella each had a goal and an assist for West Haven.

Westies Pound North Haven
WH rebounds from only loss with 16-8 victory
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(April 19, 2012) –
 Coming off its first defeat of the year, the West Havengirls’ lacrosse team was looking for a quick start against North Haven. While the start was a bit slow, the Westies rebounded to defeat the Indians 16-8 Thursday evening at Ken Strong Stadium.
McKenzie Farquharson, Ava Gambardella and Sam Young continued their stellar seasons as Farquharson scored six times and added an assist, Gambardella scored four times and Young had three goals and an assist.
“The game got off to a rough start,” West Haven coach Chrystal Fanelli said after her team improved to 5-1. “I think the girls underestimated North Haven. Their goalie (Kaleigh Hemstock) was good and she made some great saves.”
The Westies never trailed in the game, but could not shake free from the Indians early on. Gambardella scored her first goal of the game 6 minutes, 52 seconds into the game and Julia Consorte followed 35 seconds later for a 2-0 lead. North Haven’s Maggie Sullivan sandwiched two goals around a Farquharson goal to cut West Haven’s lead to 4-2.
After Jill Rizzo cut the deficit to 4-3 for North Haven, West Haven scored the next two goals. Gambardella’s rocket in front extended the lead to 5-3 with 10:44 remaining in the half and Farquharson made a nice move to extend the lead to 6-3 just 29 seconds later.
Sullivan and Rizzo sandwiched a goal by Gambardella to cut the West Haven lead to 7-5, before Hemstock and Farquharson helped the Westies pull away. Hemstock scored with 4:23 to go in the half for an 8-5 lead and Farquharson just beat the buzzer for a 9-5 lead with 0.3 seconds left in the half.
“We weren’t playing our best in the beginning of the game, but by the end of the first half, we turned it around,” Fanelli said. “McKenzie led the team in goals and Carly Brereton played a really great game.”
The Westies needed just 13 seconds of the second half to pull away. Candice Kross scored 1:12 in and Gambardella followed suit 13 seconds later for an 11-5 lead.  After Sullivan cut the lead to 11-6, Farquharson’s fifth goal of the game with 17:57 to go gave West Haven a 12-6 lead.
Young then took over, scoring three times in 5:31. Young’s final goal gave West Haven a 15-6 lead with 11:18 to go before Farquharson’s sixth goal with 10::28 remaining gave West Haven a 16-6 lead.
Sam Palmieri was solid in goal for West Haven.

Westies fall to Stamford
Suffer first loss of season in 7-3 defeat
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(April 17, 2012) –
 The West Haven girls’ lacrosse team averaged 15 goals per game in opening the season with four straight wins. The Westies knew if they wanted to extend the streak to five games, they needed to keep the offensive attack going.
That attack met its match Tuesday evening. Facing a tough zone defense,West Haven dropped its first decision of the year, falling to Stamford 7-3 at Ken Strong Stadium.
“We knew coming into the game that this would be the toughest team we have faced so far,” West Haven coach Chrystal Fanelli said. “They play a zone defense and we had a tough time getting through.
“I was happy with the way our defense played. Jordan Brereton had a really good game and Sam Palmieri had some good saves.”
The Westies continued their trend of starting quickly as Allyson Hemstock gave West Haven a 1-0 lead just 1 minute, 1 second into the game.
That lead did not last long. Stamford’s Taylor Mills scored 29 seconds later to tie the game and Lauren Shapiro and Chandler Camlin scored 4:13 apart for a 3-1 lead.
The Westies got as close as 3-2 when Candice Kross scored with 11:13 to go in the half, but Shapiro’s second goal of the game put Stamford in front 4-2 at the half.
Shapiro, who scored four times in the contest, scored off an assist from Camlin for a 5-2 lead just 6:58 into the second half.
“It was a tough loss, but this is a team that beat us by thirteen goals when we played them last May,” Fanelli said. “We were competitive from start to finish in this game.”
Just 14 seconds later, Carly Brereton gave the Westies some life and cut the deficit to two goals, but Stamford had an answer.
Shapiro’s fourth goal of the game 1:55 later increased the lead to 6-3 and Taylor Mills put the finishing touches on West Haven’s first loss of the year when she scored with 8:54 remaining.
Sam Palmieri made 10 saves in the loss for West Haven. Stamford’s Meghan McGrath made 8 saves in the victory.

Rolling Along
Farquharson, Kross help Westies to 4-0 start
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(April 13, 2012) –
 The West Haven girls’ lacrosse team is making a habit of quick starts. In three straight victories to open the season, the Westies scored in the first minute and cruised to the victories.
West Haven continued the trend Friday evening, scoring twice in the first 40 seconds of the game, and cruised to a 16-6 win over Bunnell of Stratford. McKenzie Farquharson continued her torrid start with five goals and two assists, while Candice Kross scored three times.
“Within the first three minutes, McKenzie (Farquharson) had two goals and Candice Kross had a goal,” West Haven coach Chrystal Fanelli said after her team improved to 4-0. “From that point on, we kept a comfortable lead.”
Farquharson needed just 27 seconds to give the Westies the lead for good and Kross added another goal 13 seconds later for a 2-0 lead. Farquharson’s second of the game, 2 minutes, 36 seconds into the contest, expanded West Haven’s lead to 3-0.
Anita Martin put Bunnell on the scoreboard 57 seconds later, but West Haven put the game away by scoring the next six goals for a 9-1 lead. Alyssa Maddern and Julia Consorte scored 39 seconds apart for a 5-1 lead and Farquharson extended the margin to 6-1 with 13:16 remaining in the half.
“Ava Gambardella and Carly Brereton did a great job at getting the ball off the draw,” Fanelli said. “Jordan Brereton and Alyssa Maddern made some really good defensive plays. Defense has been doing a great job at blocking eight meter shots.”
Kross’ second goal of the game with 6:59 to go in the first half pushed West Haven’s lead to 7-1 and Farquharson set up Sam Young 1:07 later for an 8-1 lead. Kross’ goal with 59 seconds to go in the first half put West Haven in front 9-2 at the break.
After Allyson Hemstock opened the second half with a goal for a 10-2 lead, Bunnell cut the lead in half with the next three goals. That was as close as Bunnell would get as West Haven scored the next four goals for a 14-4 advantage.
Farquharson again set up Young’s second goal of the game, 10 seconds after Bunnell was within five goals and Farquharson scored 44 seconds later.
Hemstock and Farquharson then scored 42 seconds apart for a 14-5 lead, with Gambardella assisting on Hemstock’s goal. Gambardella and Carly Brereton rounded out the scoring, with Gambardella also picking up an assist on Brereton’s goal with 1:22 remaining.
Sam Palmieri made 14 saves in the win for West Haven.
“Sam Palmieri had some great saves, with fourteen total,” Fanelli said.

Gambardella Leads Westies
Scores six times to help WH improve to 3-0
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(April 10, 2012) –
In its three victories to open the season, the West Haven girls’ lacrosse team has started quickly in each contest. Ava Gambardella made sure that trend remained Tuesday evening in Clinton. 
Scoring the first three West Haven goals of the game, including the first just 43 seconds in, Gambardella finished with six goals as West Haven defeated Morgan 18-11. With the victory, West Haven improved to 3-0. 
“The girls are really excited to be 3-0,” head coach Chrystal Fanelli said. “They are continuing to work well together.  Their transitions have been great.  Their hard work in the mid field is a big part of why we have done so well.”  
Gambardella wasted no time getting West Haven on the board as she beat Morgan’s Emma Ramke just 43 seconds in off an assist from McKenzie Farquharson. The assist by Farquharson would be the start of another big day for the senior as Farquharson finished with three goals and four assists.
After Bridget Forbs evened the game at one, 2 minutes, 11 seconds into the game, Gambardella scored the next two West Haven goals for a 3-1 lead. The Westies took a 6-1 lead when Allyson Hemstock and Sam Young scored 24 seconds apart and Julia Consorte beat Ramke with 13:12 to go in the first half. 
Cassie Cachrare scored 10 seconds after Consorte to cut West Haven’s lead to 6-2 but Farquharson settled the game down once again for the Westies. Scoring twice within 2:18, Farquharson gave the Westies an 8-2 lead with 10:34 remaining in the first half. 
Riley Musial scored with 8:36 to go in the half but Gambardella answered 29 seconds later. When Candice Kross scored with 6:42 remaining, West Haven led 10-3. 
Melanie Reiss increased the lead to 11-4 with 3:19 remaining and West Haven scored twice in the final minute of the half for a 13-4 lead at the break. Farquharson scored with 46 seconds remaining, then set up Hemstock with 18 seconds to go. 
“These girls work so well together,” Fanelli said. “Seven of our goals were assisted.  I think that shows how much we’ve been improving on offense.”
Gambardella again started the second half quickly with a goal just 39 seconds in. Consorte set up Kross 46 seconds later for a 15-4 lead and Carly Brereton set up Young with 20:19 to go in the game for a 16-5 lead. 
Farquharson assisted on a Hemstock goal with 12:05 remaining in the game and Gambardella finalized the scoring 4:05 later for an 18-6 lead. Morgan scored five times in the final six minutes to inch closer but it was not enough.
Sam Palmieri made 11 saves in the win for the Westies.

Young leads Westies
Five goals key to 13-6 win over Shelton
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
WEST HAVEN (April 6, 2012)
 West Haven coach Chrystal Fanelli was looking for a quick start to the season for her lacrosse team. Two games into the season, Fanelli has hotten what she was hoping for.
Paced by five goals from Sam Young and three more from McKenzie Farquharson, the Westies defeated Shelton 13-6 in the home opener Saturday evening at Ken Strong Stadium.
“The girls continued to play well tonight,” Fanelli said. “Sam Young had a great game on offense, scoring five goals. Ava Gambardella was great on the draw and we won most of the draw controls. 
“Defensively, it was a great game. Early in the game, they figured out how to shut down Shelton’s key players. Jordan Brereton, Alyssa Maddern, McKenzie Farquharson, Carly Brereton, and Amber Nadeau kept up a strong unit on defense and they were able to stop a lot of Shelton'’ attempts at shooting.” 
After Young gave West Haven a 1-0 lead just 17 seconds into the game, the Westies had to contend with Shelton’s Katie McGinnis. McGinnis scored six times in the game, including twice in a span of 2 minutes, 49 seconds to give Shelton a 2-1 lead.
The Gaels never led again. West Haven scored seven of the next eight goals, taking an 8-3 lead to the half and never looking back.
Farquharson evened the game at two just 38 seconds after McGinnis scored but McGinnis gave the lead back to Shelton just 4:14 later. Shelton’s lead lasted just 2:43 as Candice Kross set up Carly Brereton to even the game at three with 12:17 to go in the half.
Brereton’s goal was the first of six straight to end the half for the Westies. Young gave West Haven a 4-3 lead with 9:46 remaining in the half and Farquharson executed a perfect spin move to beat Shelton’s goalie Taylor Searles for a 5-3 lead with 8:44 to go.
Just 50 seconds later, Farquharson sent a perfect pass to Young out front. Young drilled a perfect shot off the turf behind Searles for a 6-3 lead.
Allyson Hemstock then took over the final minutes of the half. Hemstock scored with 1:30 left in the half with a perfect shot to the corner, then intercepted Searles’ breakout pass and fired a shot into the goal 19 seconds later for an 8-3 lead.
McGinnis cut the deficit to 8-4 with 13:54 to go in the game but West Haven never wavered, scoring the next three goals for an 11-4 lead.
Young matched McGinnis’ goal 28 seconds later and Kross scored twice within 46 seconds, the latter assisted by Brereton, to increase the lead to seven. Farquharson and Young scored 28 seconds apart in the final 4:20 to put the game out of reach.
“Our transitions have improved greatly since last year,” Fanelli said. “The girls did a great job at moving the ball up the field and doubling in the midfield. Once again, we had several girls score. McKenzie Farquharson, Allyson Hemstock, Sam Young, Carly Brereton, and Candice Kross all scored. 
"I'm very happy with the way the season has gone so far. They have really been working hard. The entire team is really excited over their success so far. They recognize what they need to do to win games and I'm sure they'll keep up their hard work."
West Haven held a 32-14 shot advantage in the game. Sam Palmieri made seven saves in the win, while  Searles made 13 saves in the loss for Shelton.  

Offensive Explosion leads Westies
Farquharson and Hemstock lead the way
BY MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(April 4, 2012) -
 Looking to get off to a quick start to the season, the West Haven girls’ lacrosse team opened the season in fine fashion.  Led by four goals and four assists from McKenzie Farquharson and four more goals from Allyson Hemstock, the Westies defeated North Haven 15-4 in North HavenWednesday afternoon.
“I was really happy with the way we started the season,” West Haven coach Chrystal Fanelli said. “The girls all played great today.  I think we’re finally seeing the benefits of the youth league.  Almost everyone on our starting lineup has been playing together for four years now as the sophomores began youth in seventh grade and the juniors began as eighth graders.  Coming into this season with that experience has given them more confidence in themselves and in each other.  They're passing the a lot more and we’re seeing a number of girls score.”
The season opener for both teams saw the Westies score the first four goals of the game and take a 7-1 lead to the half. Farquharson, fresh off a fine basketball season, got things going with two of the team’s first four goals and the Westies never looked back.
The Westies wasted little time getting on the board as Julia Consorte scored 16 seconds into the game and Farquharson followed suit 2:37 later. Just 1:49 later, Ava Gambardella increased the lead to 3-0 before Farquharson’s second goal of the half with 15:13 remaining gave West Haven a 4-0 lead.
“Julia Consorte got the game off to a great start,” Fanelli said. “She got the ball on the draw and scored in the first sixteen seconds.  That really set the tone for the game.  Even though we were up the entire game, they played hard right until end. 
“McKenzie (Farquharson) had an incredible game, with four goals and four assists.  We had six different girls score.  Allyson Hemstock also had four goals.  Ava Gambardella had three goals and one assist.  We have a lot of talent on offense this year.  We no longer have to rely on one or two girls to score the majority of goals and I think that is going to be key for us this season.”
North Haven cut into the West Haven lead when Brittany Cebula scored just 1:03 later but West Haven quickly responded. Hemstock, Gambardella and Farquharson scored within a span of 9:11 to blow the contest open, giving West Haven a 7-1 lead at the break.
Farquharson assisted on Hemstock’s goal with 13:32 remaining and added another helper 3:33 later on Gambardella’s goal. Sam Young then assisted on Farquharson’s goal with 4:21 to go in the half for the 7-1 lead.
The offense continued to dominate the game in the second half for West Haven as the Westies scored three times in a span of 5:36 for a 10-1 lead. Consorte again started the second half scoring with an assist from Farquharson with 19:41 remaining, Hemstock added her second of the game 4:12 later and Farquharson added her fourth goal 1:24 later.
After North Haven cut the deficit to 10-3, the Westies returned to normalcy when Young and Gambardella scored 11 seconds apart for a 12-3 advantage. Gambardella (three goals and an assist) assisted on Young’s goal with 8:10 remaining before Gambardella found the back of the net with 7:59 to go.
Hemstock scored the next two West Haven goals, the first 21 seconds after Gambardella and the second with 3:26 remaining in the contest. Candice Kross scored with 20.5 seconds to go in the game off an assist from Farquharson to give the Westies a 15-3 lead.
“Defense also played a great game,” Fanelli said. “Jordan Brereton, McKenzie Farquharson and Jasmine Johnson all did a great job stopping eight meter shots.  Sam (Palmieri) had a good game in goal, with twelve saves.  Hopefully this game has set the tone for the season and the girls keep up the good team work.”
West Haven held a 29-19 shot advantage. Sam Palmieri was stellar in goal, allowing just four North Haven goals and making 12 saves.

Westies look for balanced attack
West Haven aims to return to postseason for first time since 2009
MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
West Haven girls lacrosse coach Chrystal Fanelli has high hopes for her team this year. Fanelli’s biggest challenge may be how to replace ten graduated players from last year’s squad.
If the Westies are to be successful, the experience returning from last year's team will be the key. Senior tri-captain McKenzie Farquharson and junior tri-captains Sam Palmieri and Carly Brereton will lead the way.
Farquharson will use her size and speed to attack at the midfield position. Palmieri will be the last line of defense in goal and Brereton will play midfield, where she excels both offensively and defensively. 
“McKenzie has played with this team since her freshman year,” Fanelli said.“She has been a leader all those years. Sam Palmieri has started in goal since her freshman year. The past two years she has been the key in goal. Carly Brereton has really stepped up. She starts on defense but has also stepped up to be a key player on offense.” 
Fanelli will have seven returning juniors in the mix as well. Jordan Brereton and Alyssa Maddern will defend the goal., while Candice Kross and Julia Consorte will play midfield and Sam Young will play attack. 
“We lost ten seniors to graduation,” Fanelli said. “Luckily, last year we had girls playing varsity as freshmen and sophomores. Sam Young has played varsity her first three years. She will play a bigger role in scoring this year. She does a lot of good things on the field.” 
Farquharson was the leading scorer last year and Young will return as another goal-scoring threat. Fanelli is pleased the scoring will not just come from Farquharson and Young. 
“The good thing about us is I see a lot more girls scoring this year than in the past,” Fanelli said. “We have a wider range of girls stepping up and scoring. 
“I like the way we have worked together. Defensively, we have communicated well. On offense, we have moved the ball around a lot. We are seeing more girls score.” 
Sophomores Ava Gambardella and Allyson Hemstock will also play key roles from the midfield position, while seniors Kaprice Blatche, Ariana Marcello and Jasmine Johnson will make an impact as well. Blatche and Marcello have played well on attack and Johnson has done the same on defense. 
“We need to keep up what we have been doing in scrimmages,” Fanelli said.“We have been communicating on defense and have been doing well. 
“We would like to make the state tournament. We have not been there since 2009. That is a big goal of ours.” 
West Haven opens the season at North Haven, Wednesday, April 4 at 3:45 p.m. The Westies open the home schedule two days later against Shelton at 7 p.m.

Senior manager Molly Smith and her family on Senior Day, May 19, 2012. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 

Sam Young (16) and McKenzie Farquharson (32) set up for West Haven against Lauralton Hall, April 25, 2012. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.

Candice Kross battles for possession against North Haven, April 4, 2012. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 

McKenzie Farquharson (32) shoots (top photo) and scores (bottom photo) against Staples, May 31, 2012. Photos courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 

Alyssa Maddern. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.

GIRLS LACROSSE 2012

Candice Kross tries to split the defense against Lauralton Hall, April 25, 2012. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 

Julia Consorte (14) runs up the field against Amity, May 19, 2012. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 

All-State players - Kelly Stratton '00; Shannon Stratton '03; Joane Amato '03; Melanie Raubeson '03; Alix Sutcliffe '09 

Carly Brereton starts an end to end rush (top) and finishes with a goal (bottom) against Staples, May 31, 2012. Photos courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 

West Haven's Sam Palmieri prepares for a shot on goal against Staples in the first round of the CIAC Class L state tournament, May 31. 2012. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 

Kaprice Blatche and her family on Senior Day, May 19, 2012. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.

West Haven players hug McKenzie Farquharson (l.) during Senior Day ceremonies, May 19, 2012. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 

Jasmine Johnson and her family on Senior Day, May 19, 2012. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 

THE HOME OF WEST HAVEN SPORTS

WestieBlue

McKenzie Farquharson (32) scores against Amity, May 19, 2012. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 

Ava Gambardella looks to make a play against Lauralton Hall, April 25, 2012. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 

Julia Consorte (14) shoots and scores (top) then celebrates with Ava Gambardella (l.) and Sam Young (16) against Staples, May 31, 2012. Photos courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 

Sam Young. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 

Jordan Brereton plays defense against Amity, May 19, 2012. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 

McKenzie Farquharson and her family on Senior Day, May 19, 2012. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 

Senior Day against Amity, May 19, 2012. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 

McKenzie Farquharson gets ready for a shot against Staples, May 31, 2012. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 

Sam Young scores against Amity, May 19, 2012. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 

Carly Brereton looks to make a play against North Haven, April 4, 2012. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 

McKenzie Farquharson looks to make a play against Staples, May 31, 2012. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 

Julia Consorte (14) runs up the field with McKenzie Farquharson trailing against Lauralton Hall, April 25, 2012. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.

Ariana Marcello and her family on Senior Day, May 19, 2012. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 

McKenzie Farquharson moves the ball against North Haven in the season opener, April 4, 2012. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 

Julia Consorte looks to create offense against Staples, May 31, 2012. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.