Boys lacrosse: New Canaan rallies to beat Wilton, 11-10

The Wilton boys lacrosse team loss can be summed up in four words: too many costly penalties.

New Canaan tallied five man-advantage goals in Tuesday afternoon’s game at Fujitani Field, on its way to a come-from-behind 11-10 win over the Warriors.

The Rams netted two goals when Wilton was hit with a major non-releasable penalty early in the second quarter.

“You saw a great game between two good FCIAC teams. Both teams battled to the end and they came out ahead,” said Wilton head coach John Wiseman. “My team gave me a great effort today, but our execution when we were a man down didn’t match the effort."

He continued, “Yes, it is frustrating that we had an 8-4 halftime lead and didn’t come away with the win, but that’s what happens when you don’t play 48 minutes of lacrosse.”

Wilton is now 2-1 on the season, while New Canaan’s record moved to 3-0.

New Canaan played from behind most of the game, and had its only lead of the night when Liam Griffiths scoring the winning goal with 1:59 left to play.

The Warriors got things going just 17 seconds into the contest on a goal by Brian Calabrese, assisted by Joe Murtha.

New Canaan answered a minute and 37 seconds later, as Owen Shin had an easy path to the Wilton goal for the score.

Wilton closed out the first quarter with three goals in the final 2:26 of the period for a 4-1 lead. Dean DiNanno’s backhanded shot found the net to put the Warriors on top 2-1, followed by goals from Connor Drake, and Nolan Quinn.

Wilton’s Harvey Alexander was hit with a major non-releasable penalty with 10:48 remaining in the second quarter, and the Rams proceeded to score twice to put the score at 4-3. New Canaan goals came from Quintin O’Connell and Mackenzie Deane.

Wilton regained the three-goal lead on scores from Brian Calabrese and DiNanno for the 6-3 lead with 4:02 left in the period. O’Connell scored high to cut the lead to 6-4, but Brian Calabrese picked up two more goals, giving him four for the game, in the final minute and a half of the first half, putting the Warriors up 8-4 at the half.

“We didn’t finish the way we started. You have to play the whole 48 minutes or you’re not going to beat a team like New Canaan,” said Calabrese. “They have good shooters and they showed that in the second half. We as a team need to keep pushing and playing at our best. Every game we’re going to be playing a tough opponent and we have to come ready to play the whole game.”

New Canaan scored four times in the span of five minutes to tie the game at 8-8 with 1:41 remaining in the third quarter. New Canaan goals came from Zach Miller, Chris Canet, O’Connell (his third of the game) and Deane (his second).

Murtha scored with 32.5 second left in the period to give the Warriors a 9-8 lead going into the final quarter.

The Warriors had the a chance to grow the lead when they had a two-man advantage, but the Rams killed off the penalty. Alex Acosta-Rua’s goal pushed Wilton’s lead back to 10-8 with 7:34 to play, but three unanswered Ram goals, two coming with a man advantage, give the visitors the 11-10 win. Griffiths score two of the goal, and Ted Manges had the other.

“We didn’t play our game in the first half and it showed” said Rams head coach Chip Buzzeo. “We turned the ball over too much, played too much one-on-one, which is not the way we play. We made some adjustments in the second half and got back to our style of play. Our coaches saw things the kids needed to do in the second half and they went out and did it.”

He continued, “We have a lot of depth on this team and I played 28 guys today, which will mean we’ll have fresh legs out there in the fourth quarter. Sure, we lost a lot of experience due to graduation, but we have several good young players ready to setup.”