There is a new head of the pack in FCIAC Boys' Lacrosse: The Ridgefield Tigers, coached by former Major League Lacrosse Star, Roy Colsey, and led by Senior Attackman and Virginia-Bound, Matt White:
Check out this game recap by Jesse Quinlan of the Connecticut Post for more details:
By David Burnham, special to the CT High School Lacrosse Blog
Wilton Washed out of FCIAC’s by Blue Wave 11-3
The Wilton Warriors needed to play a physical game if they had any hope of staying close to Darien at the FCIAC semifinal game hosted by Brien McMahon High School. Unfortunately for Wilton, the Blue Wave created many turnovers due to their imposing physical presence on the defensive end and finished the game with a sizeable advantage in ground balls. Matt Gorski and Corey Caputo, both heading to Division I schools in the fall, anchored the Darien defense which held the Warriors to only 3 goals despite averaging almost 15 goals per game in their previous seven contests.
Darien started the first quarter with a bang, scoring their first goal a little over two minutes into the game. A failed give and go attempt by Peter McMahon and Mike Francia gave Darien a fast break chance that was converted by Loyola (MD) bound Tyler Foley, giving the Blue Wave a 2-0 lead. Stiff defense frustrated the Warriors throughout the remainder of the first with only a handful of shots reaching junior goalie Connor Sullivan. Wilton had few clean looks on the cage until 3:52, when Matthew Reyes-Guerra-Dunn ran the length of the field after a quick outlet pass from goalie James Fuller. Sullivan came up with a monster save, going down and to his right to deflect the ball wide and preserve the two goal lead. Only a minute later, the Blue Wave scored again when Gettysburg bound Ryan Mulligan converted on a turnover from a clearing attempt. Wilton’s McMahon and Cooper Hollingsworth each had a chance to cut the deficit late in the first but could not put the ball past Sullivan.
The Warriors refocused between quarters and came out for the second with renewed spirit. Strong defense from Joe LaSala lead to a fast break where Darien’s George Benitez was forced to commit a 30 second holding penalty. Wilton converted on its first man-up opportunity of the day with a Francia goal off an assist from Kyle Sullivan. The Warriors could have seized some momentum at this point and continued to fight back, however Darien won the faceoff and stormed down the field, regaining the three goal cushion on a shot by Foley. Darien continued to pepper the Wilton net with shots, converting three in a row to take a 7-1 lead midway through the third on goals from Wheelock, Foley, and freshman Case Matheis. Wilton interrupted the Darien onslaught with a Francia goal, but the Blue Wave responded with four more goals to take a commanding 11-2 lead. The defensive unit of Gorski, Mulligan, and Eric Parnon continuously thwarted Wilton’s attack, suffocating McMahon, who entered the game 13 points from the school’s all-time lead in points, and limiting him to only two points.
Wilton got its final goal from sophomore Mike Serpa to close the tally
sheet. Wilton will begin preparing for the CIAC Class M tournament,
matching up with Brookfield in the first round. Darien will play
Ridgefield for the FCIAC title, with the Tigers advancing 11-10 in overtime
against a tough New Canaan squad.
Wilton got its final goal from sophomore Mike Serpa to close the tally sheet. Wilton will begin preparing for the CIAC Class M tournament, matching up with Brookfield in the first round. Darien will play Ridgefield for the FCIAC title, with the Tigers advancing 11-10 in overtime against a tough New Canaan squad.
Thanks to this PDF that was put together by the Connecticut Post, you can view the latest FCIAC Boys Lacrosse Standings:
The FCIAC Boys' Tournament begins on Wednesday, May 27th and will feature "play-down" games between the top eight seeds in the FCIAC Conference. The Connecticut Post was also nice enough to put together a PDF schedule of FCIAC post-season tournaments:
By David Burnham, special to CT High School Lacrosse Blog:
The Wilton Warriors overcame a 3-2 deficit to come back and stun the New Canaan Rams 6-4 on Friday night with a very impressive effort in the 4th quarter. When the clock expired, Wilton could feel proud of its first win against a rival opponent under Coach John Wiseman.
After a scramble for the opening face off at the slick turf at New Canaan's Dunning Field, Wilton emerged with control. However, due to the wet conditions, Wilton squandered their first opportunity on net. New Canaan responded at the 10:25 mark of the first quarter with a goal from #14 of the Rams.
Wilton answered with a strong defensive effort, especially from #12, whose big hit caused a turnover and fast break opportunity for Wilton. Continuing with the pressure, Wilton's Pete McMahon countered on a fast break with a shot that sailed wide. On the ensuing restart, McMahon fed Vinnie Cannon on a midfield cut to knot the game at 1 with 3:54 left in the first quarter.
A slashing penalty on Wilton's Joe Lasala allowed New Canaan to go on their first man-up opportunity of the game. A turnover by New Canaan due to sloppy passing allowed Wilton to advance the ball and kill the man-down situation. To start the second quarter, Wilton immediately went on the offensive, forcing a man-up situation where they subsequently hit the post on a shot from Cannon.
A thick mist settled in on the playing field, making the already slick turf very slippery. As a result, the middle of the second quarter was played with little control in the offensive zone for either team. The teams traded man-up opportunites and on New Canaan's third chance of the night, they finally converted on an individual effort off the restart by Rams freshman, Connor Humphrey to give New Canaan the lead 2-1 to end the 2nd quarter.
Mike Francia opened the scoring in the 2nd half for the Warriors when he rolled behind the cage, faked out the defender and went five-hole on Rams' goaltender, Jimmy Joe Granito. Just 1:29 later, New Canaan sophomore Henry Eschricht put the Rams up 3-2 with his tally that came from unsettled play. New Canaan continued pressuring Fuller and the rest of the Warrior defense until he came up with a crucial save to keep the deficit at just one goal.
After trailing for almost a full quarter, Wilton's Kyle Sullivan scored the game tying goal to knot things up at 3 with 9:26 remaining in the game. The assist was credited to Francia. Soon after, Wilton took their first lead of the game on a goal by Jack Krueger that developed from a fast break opportunity, making it 4-3.
At this point in the game, the Warriors sideline had an enthusiastic spirit among the players while the rams held their heads down. Finishing the three goal run for the Warriors was Connor Melillo on an assist from McMahon. Despite an increased New Canaan attack, Wilton's defense stymied each advance. The final goal for the Warriors came from Francia to put the game out of reach at 6-3.
Errant passing in key situations proved to be New Canaan's demise as they could not create fast break opporunities or effectively clear the ball. Cody Newton closed out the scoring by giving the Rams their fourth goal.
James Fuller played an exceptional game in the net for the Warriors as did the defensive unit in front of him. Fuller made key saves at critical junctures of the game in order to keep the Warriors close and to preserve the lead in the fourth quarter.
|Rank||Team Name||Record||Last Game||Next Game|
|1||Ridgefield||(9-0)||Beat Greenwich||vs. St. Joseph-Trumbull 5/2|
|2||Darien||(5-3)||Beat Fairfield-Ludlowe||at Trumbull 5/1|
|3||New Canaan||(5-2)||Beat Brien McMahon||vs. Wilton 5/1|
|4||Cheshire||(7-1)||Beat Simsbury||at Daniel Hand 5/1|
|5||Greenwich||(6-2)||Lost to Ridgefield||vs. Brien McMahon 5/1|
|6||Wilton||(5-2)||Beat St. Joseph-Trumbull||vs. New Canaan 5/1|
|7||Fairfield Prep||(3-4)||Beat Daniel Hand||at Xavier 5/1|
|8||New Fairfield||(8-0)||Beat Amity Regional||vs. Barlow-Redding 4/30|
|9||Barlow-Redding||(7-0)||Beat Masuk-Monroe||at New Fairfield 4/30|
|10||Simsbury||(6-2)||Lost to Cheshire||at Windsor 5/1|
|11||Brien McMahon||(6-2)||Beat Danbury||vs. Norwalk 4/21|
|12||Amity Regional||(5-3)||Lost to New Fairfield||at Branford 5/1|
|13||East Lyme||(7-1)||Beat Ledyard||at Conard-West Hartford 5/2|
|14||New Milford||(7-2)||Beat Newtown||at Bunnell-Stratford 5/1|
|15||Xavier||(5-1)||Beat Hamden||at Notre Dame-W. Haven 4/30|
|NR||Newtown||(7-1)||Lost to New Milford||at Masuk-Monroe 4/30|
John Wiseman is a 1986 graduate of Wilton High School, former captain of the lacrosse team, an All-American defenseman who eventually went onto Duke University, where he also captained the ACC Conference team from Durham, North Carolina.
His wife, Cindy, was also a standout lacrosse player, growing up in Westchester County, NY and playing at Villanova University in college. Cindy has coached the Wilton High School girls team for nearly the last decade, has twice won a state title (2004 and 2006) and has guided her team to an appearance in the CT Girls' Lacrosse Division I Final in the last five consecutive seasons.
John, who just accepted the position of head coach for the Wilton boys team this past August, is thrilled to be at the helm of a program that has won more state championships (20) than any other team in Connecticut. He becomes just the third coach in the program's history, following in the footsteps of legendary coach, Guy Whitten (17 state titles) and Paul MacNulty (3 state titles).
Coincidentally, Wiseman played under Whitten in 1984, 1985 and 1986, when the Warriors won three straight FCIAC Championships and one state title in '84.
This year's girls team is off to a fast start, going 6-0 in their first six games, while husband John's team is 4-2, with losses coming to Ridgefield and Darien, two elite teams in CT boys' lacrosse, a status that the Wilton boys would love to reclaim under their new head coach.
Is it possible I may have overlooked the strength and depth of this year's Greenwich boys' lacrosse team? Yes.
Was it wrong for me to assume this was going to be a rebuilding year for Paul Burke's squad, which no longer features such lax studs as defenseman, Jonathan Meyers (Princeton) and attackman, Ryan Benicasa? Maybe.
Did I ever think that the Cardinals' 4/23 matchup against the Jesuits of Fairfield Prep was going to be a win for Greenwich? No, not this year.
After an 11-9 victory over Chris Smalkakis' Jesuit team on Thursday afternoon in Greenwich, I am seriously starting to re-assess the above three questions, especially the second one. Here's three reasons why:
1) The Cardinals played without two of its three senior tri-captains, Jared Horowitz and Derek Wenger in the victory over Prep. This team is deeper than I thought. 2) Greenwich goal-tender, Kyle Feeney is for real. As Coach Burke pointed out after the game on Thursday to a Greenwich Time reporter, "Kyle made some incredible saves for us today." 3) Losing three times in one season to Ridgefield last year, the team's only three losses of the season, has to have made the Tigers public enemy number one in the eyes of this year's Greenwich squad.
Look for the Cardinals an Tigers to battle it out for Class L bragging rights when the two teams meet next Wednesday in Ridgefield. Feeney is going to have to come up huge against Senior All-American, Matt White.