To say 2018 was a dream season for the New Canaan girls lacrosse team would be putting it mildly.
The Rams won the state title in just their second year in Class L, going on an incredible run that included defeating archrival Darien in the semis—ending its triple-digit in-state win streak.
Now that the spring has come to a close, it’s time for the postseason awards to roll in, and that starts at the top.
In May, coach Kristin Woods was named the Connecticut High School Coaches Association Coach of the Year, and this past week she garnered the same honor for Class L.
“I’m honored,” said Woods, who just finished her 11th year at the helm of the Rams. “I was surprised and excited that our team could come out with that accolade.”
Woods has seen plenty of success in her time at New Canaan, but what she was able to do this season stands out.
Early on, the Rams were riddled with injuries to key seniors, meaning they had to find their footing and survive while they waited to play at full-strength.
After losing a heartbreaker to Wilton in the FCIAC semis, the Rams put it all together for their state run.
The underclassmen’s season-long experience paired with a healthy senior core to cruise to a Class L title—routing Ridgefield in the championship game 19-7.
“This team really amazed me in the strides they made in the state run,” Woods said. “We really peaked at the right time and they put their best games together at the perfect time, starting with the Glastonbury game, then Wilton and Darien and finishing with the Ridgefield game.”
Even with all the success of her most recent squad, it’s difficult for Woods to rank the team with regards to the previous ten.
“That’s hard,” Woods laughed. “This is just a special year because I think the seniors really stepped up and put the team under their wing and really grew at a critical time and we really had fun with it. Our team came together not only on the field, but off the field and it was an exciting year all together.”
Because of what those seniors were able to accomplish, Woods already has high hopes for 2019.
“I can’t say enough about my seniors,” Woods said. “I really think that they taught the underclassmen what it takes to the be the best, and hopefully they know now that they have to come in every game and play with heart and hustle.”
Every successful coach has a personal flavor they add to a team and Woods’ is simple; have fun with it.
“I just try to make sure the kids are having a blast,” she said. “I think half of coaching is a relationship and getting your kids to play with the best effort they can possibly put together, I know that all of them love the game and want to perform at their best.”
Seems like she’s found that perfect balance.Read Full Article