NEW MILFORD — New Milford girls lacrosse coach Greg LaCava is doing some learning on the fly, and the early results show that he and the Green Wave are getting it.

After years coaching boys lacrosse, LaCava now leads the girls team. The Green Wave are off to a solid 3-2 start this season after a tough 10-8 loss Tuesday at Bunnell.

“We dropped one last night I would like to have back, but all in all we are starting to get better,” LaCava said.

Last season a relatively young New Milford team went 2-13, including a season-opening six-game losing streak from which it never recovered. This season has been an about-face, with wins over Granby and Joel Barlow to start the season. The Green Wave lost to both last season, 14-4 and 14-0, respectively.

The Barlow win in particular showed that this is a different New Milford team. The Green Wave trailed by five goals with 13:28 remaining before rallying to defeat the two-time defending SWC Division I champions 11-10. Nicole DeBenedictis scored the go-ahead goal with 1:13 remaining with an assist from Kelly Lourenco.

“Those were two nice wins to start the season against good teams who beat us last season,” LaCava said. “Every bit of success we have, the girls run with it and are building confidence.”

LaCava feels a big part of the turnaround is that the team has a great mix of seniors and juniors returning from last season. Those returners are both talented and better for the experience.

The Green Wave, as well as being resilient, are good learners from the coach on down. LaCava, having been a longtime boys coach, is learning a whole different game, and the team is getting used to a new coach and a new style.

It’s “been a learning experience for both sides and I am asking them to buy in quick,” LaCava said. “It’s a little different from what they have experienced in youth and travel teams, but it is really a fantastic group and they are all buying in.”

LaCava has been digging in and learning the subtleties and differences between the boys and girls games. Throwing, catching and ground balls are skills in both games, but other features are different.

“There are a lot of differences because of lack of physicality and what you can and can’t do with the stick,” LaCava said. “There has been lots to learn to teach technique and fundamentals and how to implement it into strategy.”

On the field, junior goalie Emily Buser has been outstanding, LaCava said, and senior Kelly Lourenco has been great on offense with multiple goals in multiple games.

Captain Nicole DeBenedictis has stepped up of late with big offensive performances. including four goals in each of the last two games.

Kelli Souza, Taylor Kersten, Caitlin DeCapua and Chloe Knight are veterans who anchor the defense.

“They dig in, are stingy and athletic and are playing hard and playing well,” LaCava said.

The midfield is led by senior captain Erika Henkel and freshman Sarah Morris.

The goals for the Green Wave the rest of the way are to build off their fast start in what is a very competitive SWC girls lacrosse league.

“For the rest of the season we want to compete every day in the SWC, which is very tough,” LaCava said. “We want to battle hard and make it to the SWC tournament.”