Many teams tried, but practically no one succeeded in keeping the Rams' high-scoring duo from producing All-American performances this spring.
Combining for an astounding 167 goals, it's no surprise Mannelly and Hompe were First Team selections on the 2012 Connecticut All-America Girls Lacrosse Team.
Thirteen players earned First Team All-America status, seven of whom competed in the FCIAC. Darien also boasted a pair of First Team All-Americans in junior attack Taylor Hardison and senior defender Emily Tropsa, while Greenwich High senior attack Claire Feeney and Wilton junior midfielder Casey Pearsall made the star-studded squad. Senior midfielder Emily Conway and junior midfielder Mary Taussig from Greenwich Academy and senior midfielder Sarah Nesi of Fairfield Ludlowe were also First Team All-America selections.
Mannelly, a senior midfielder, who was named Connecticut Player of the Year for 2012, registered 83 goals and 47 assists in helping spark the Rams to the CIAC Class M championship.
"Sarah is a phenomenal athlete and a tremendous attacker," said New Canaan coach Kristen Woods, who guided the Rams to a record of 21-1. "I am definitely going to miss her next year. She started for me as a freshman and was such a good athlete back then as a defensive player."
As usual, Mannelly came up big in crucial situations. She scored four goals in the Rams' convincing 17-9 win over Wilton last week in the Class M final.
"What makes her so difficult to defend is her quickness," said Woods, whose squad ended the season ranked No. 1 in the state by LaxPower.com. "Not many players can keep up with her and she reads everything on the field so well."
Also a standout soccer and basketball player at New Canaan, Mannelly will play lacrosse at Boston College next spring.
"I'm so excited for her," Woods said. "I'm looking forward to seeing what she does in college. She's such a driven athlete and a great leader."
Hompe, a junior attack, tallied a team-high 84 goals and led the Rams with 50 draw controls. Displaying her superior skills, Hompe scored an eye-popping nine goals in the Class M final against Wilton.
"Olivia came out fired up Saturday in the finals against Wilton," Woods said. "You expect key players to show up in big games like that and she certainly did. She got it done all over the field for us."
Named the MVP of the Class M championship, Hompe also caused an impressive 10 turnovers in the championship matchup.
"She had 10 caused turnovers alone," said Woods whose Rams were named the state's Team of the Year. "A lot of teams don't get that in one game. "Olivia is one of the hardest working kids I've ever met and it's definitely paid off."
Hardison had a knack for scoring significant goals for the Blue Wave, while Tropsa was one of the state's lock-down defenders. A potent scorer, Pearsall helped power Wilton to the Class M finals.
Conway, who will play lacrosse at Washington and Lee next season, totaled 58 goals and 39 assists for Greenwich Academy, which captured the FAA championship for the 27th time in 29 seasons.
"Emily wanted the ball and having said that, was also a very good distributor," Greenwich Academy coach Angela Tammaro said. "She did not make a lot of turnovers and she did a great job of running the offense, while also playing a lot of defense."
Taussig, a defensive midfielder, notched 13 goals, 19 assists, 87 forced turnovers and 65 groundballs for GA.
"Mary was frequently assigned to guard the other team's toughest player and consistently played shut-down defense," Tammaro said. "She really stepped up her game this year."
A four-year starter, Feeney powered Greenwich offensively, recording a team-high 97 goals to go along with 18 assists. One of the team's all-time leading scorers, the Winthrop University-bound Feeney had a hat trick in the Cardinals' 9-8 win over Cheshire in the Class L final last week.
"Claire is one of those players you can always rely on," Greenwich coach Caitlin Keane said. "Her speed and ability to read a certain situation was unbelievable. She had that innate ability to see plays develop."
Also named as First Team All-Americans by U.S. lacrosse were: senior goalie Christy Forrest of Daniel Hand, senior midfielder Devin Markison (Loomis Chaffee), senior defender Jordan McCarthy (Taft School) and senior midfielder Lauren Pascal (Taft).
Jessie Ambrose (Staples), Maria Blos (Cheshire), Alexandra Crofts (Staples), Katie Devito (Glastonbury), Tori Dunster (Greenwich), Jena Fritts (Darien), Tess Mackay (Simsbury), Katherine Mandigo (Loomis Chaffee), Alli Sciarretta (Convent of the Sacred Heart) and Mackenzie Tesei (Choate Rosemary Hall) each earned All-American Honorable Mention honors.