Wilton boys lax team tops top-seed Avon in states

After having to win a play-in game to qualify for the main bracket of the Class M state tournament, the Wilton High boys lacrosse team defeated previously unbeaten top-seed Avon, 15-9, in a first-round contest Wednesday in Avon..

The 17th-seeded Warriors will now face a familiar foe, FCIAC rival Darien, in the quarterfinals on Saturday at 3 in Darien.

The ninth-seeded Blue Wave, who have beaten Wilton twice this season, downed eigth-seed Daniel Hand, 11-7, in another first-round game Wednesday.

Avon scored first for a 1-0 lead, but Wilton quickly recovered and never looked back.

The Warriors (10-9) used a 6-2 run in the second quarter to build a 10-5 halftime lead. Both teams were racing up and down the field as four goals were scored in a span of  just over a minute midway through the period. During the run, Wilton’s Henry Lee went coast to coast for a score, as the Falcon defense let him run the field unmarked.

The Falcons cut the lead to 10-6 with a goal 1:38 into the third quarter. The teams traded goals in the third, with the quarter ending with Wilton holding a five-goal advantage at 12-7.

Avon did not get any closer than four goals the rest of the way, as the Warriors outscored the hosts, 3-2, in the final period for the win.

Wilton, playing its second game in a row on grass, knew it had to change its style of play.

“We told everyone to chase down the loose balls and be aggressive to win the ground balls," said senior co-captain Luke Reyes-Guerra-Dunn. “The fact that we had to win a play-in game makes us the underdog and that’s great; it will help us play with a chip on our shoulder."

“It was hot out there, but it was a good test for us," said Wilton head coach John Wiseman. "We used our third line, which gave some of our younger players some playing time and gave the starters a break. They gave me a good effort and the team as a whole played hard and intense."

Wiseman went on to say that his defense continued to make mental errors and gave the Falcons too many easy goals.

"We knew they like to push the ball up the field and we got caught not getting back in transition," he said. "That resulted in about seven of their nine scores."

Although the Warrior defense got caught looking several times, the unit got a lift when midfielder Max Maudsley leveled a Falcon player with a clean hit.

Senior co-captain Mike Burns netted four goals to lead Wilton, followed by three scores by Reyes-Guerra-Dunn and two goals by Ted Ottens.

The Warriors got single scores from Lee, Tommy Hayes, Ryder Farmakis, Brendan Devane, Christan Hansson and Ryan Brameier. Farmakis assisted on four goals.

Ottens was 15-of-16 from the face-off circle in the first half and finished 21-for-26.

Conor Johnson recorded 11 saves in goal for the Warriors.

Jackson Davey, Tyler Mattioda and Colin Moore had two goals apiece for Avon, which finished the season 18-1.