STAMFORD -- It was only the fourth game of the season. A post-season berth was not on the line for the Stamford High girls lacrosse team. And the Black Knights weren't playing their cross-town rival; they were taking on Fairfield Warde. And yet ...

"We had a lot riding on this game," Stamford's rookie coach Greg Lewis said, after Warde posted a 12-6 non-league victory.

What made Tuesday's game at Boyle Stadium so special was the man Lewis replaced, Ben Levy, is now the assistant coach at Warde.

"Obviously there was some history with the coach," Lewis said. "We'll all be in the same building tomorrow (Levy still teaches at SHS). But I would've liked for us to have had a better start."

Warde (2-1-1), led by Sarah Reilly, scored two minutes into the game, and after Kelly Neisen tied it for Stamford (1-2-1) six minutes later, the Mustangs reeled off four goals in six minutes to take a 5-1 lead that turned into a 9-3 halftime advantage.

"Kids are funny so you never know if something like this will cause them to play their A game or not," Warde coach Tom Davis said. "But there's no doubt it was added incentive for Stamford."

Levy left Stamford to take the assistant coaching position under Davis. Eventually, the veteran Davis says, Levy will take over the program.

"Ben made a decision to come here," Davis said, "and I'm very happy with that decision."

Warde, which beat Danbury, tied Fairfield Ludlowe and lost to New Canaan, dominated the first half as Reilly won most of the face-offs, which led to a lopsided time-of-possession in favor of the Mustangs. Meredith Nerreau scored the first of her two goals to open the scoring before Neisen (three goals) tied it for Stamford, which tied Trumbull, beat St. Joseph and lost to Greenwich.

Then it was all Mustangs the rest of the half. Amanda Orvis (three goals) made it 2-1 before Reilly, Nerreau and Grace Orben scored giving Warde a 5-1 lead.

Caroline Ryan followed with a goal for Stamford before Warde went on another four-goal run. Reilly had three of them and Orvis had the other. Jasmine Li then potted the first of her two tallies to bring the Knights within 9-3 at the half.

Warde did a good job keeping Stamford's Kaitlyn Hunter out of the scorebook. Hunter had seven goals in Stamford's first two games. Nevertheless, the Knights played the Mustangs even in the second half.

"I was a little disappointed with our slow start," Lewis said. "But it was nice to see us pick it up in the second half."

Neisen scored twice in the second half for Stamford while Li added one goal. Lambert had a second-half tally for the Mustangs, as did Reilly and Orvis.

Stamford's Lesly Sanchez had five saves in goal while Rebekah Snitkoff stopped five shots for Warde.

Warde 12, Stamford 6

WARDE 9 3--12


Records: Fairfield Warde 2-1-1; Stamford 1-2-1.

Goals: FW--Sarah Reilly 5, Amanda Orvis 3, Nerreau 2, Caroline Lambert, Grace Orben; S--Kelly Neisen 3, Jasmine Li 2, Caroline Ryan. Assists: FW--Lambert. S--Li. Goalie saves: FW--Rebekah Snitkoff 5; S--Lesly Sanchez 5.