Boys lacrosse: Sweeney keys Wilton win over New Fairfield
Led by a dominating performance by FOGO Christopher Sweeney, the Wilton High boys lacrosse team jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the first half and never looked back in an impressive 13-2 win at New Fairfield on Tuesday evening.
Sweeney won 13 of 17 faceoffs on the night, as the Warriors (12-4) handed New Fairfield only its second loss of the season.
Connor Drake had four goals and an assist to lead the attack, with Nick DiSanto, Joe Murtha and Kieran McGovern each scoring two goals. Joe Scarfi, Ryan McDermott and Peter Koch also scored.
Notching one assist each were Sweeney, Scarfi, Brian Calabrese and Nolan Quinn.
The Rebels (14-2) were plagued with turnovers in the first quarter, with six. One of them led to Wilton’s first goal, with 5:22 left in the period, when long pole AJ Hoffman cleared the ball and Drake finished off the break after an assist from Brian Calabrese.
It was still a 1-0 game with under a minute left in the first quarter, but the Warriors scored twice in the final 48 seconds to go up 3-0.
The second Wilton goal also came in transition after a turnover, with Scarfi, another long pole, taking the ball down and passing to Drake for the goal.
After Sweeney won the draw, Drake found DiSanto cutting to the cage for a wide-open shot, making it 3-0 with 38 seconds left in the quarter.
The Warriors blew the game open with three goals in the first two minutes of the second quarter, with goals by McGovern, Murtha and Scarfi, the last off a feed from Sweeney. That made it 6-0 with 10:19 left in the first half.
Goals by Murtha and DiSanto made it 8-0 with 5:40 left in the half.
Andrew Calabrese had an outstanding first half in goal for Wilton, with eight saves. The Rebels finally broke through with 1:08 left in the half, on a rebound shot by Brett Tenaglia after Calabrese made a great save on a fastbreak attempt.
The Warriors finished with a 17-12 edge in shots on goal in the game. John Morgan also scored for New Fairfield.
“I like how they played. They played with energy,” said Wilton head coach John Wiseman of his team’s effort. “I give a lot of credit to Sweeney. Winning all those faceoffs is key. A lot of those (first half) goals were fast breaks coming off something that Sweeney created. It’s easy to finish when you have guys doing that.”
He said the big edge in possession time also made an impact on the defensive end.
“The defense played very well, but when New Fairfield’s on defense the whole time because we’re winning all the faceoffs, it give them a chance to rest, so we’re fresh,” he said. “When we’re fresh, our defense is tough.”
Wilton won seven of its final nine games, with the only losses coming in out-of-conference games against New York teams John Jay and Yorktown.
The FCIAC playoffs will begin on Saturday with the quarterfinals. With a 9-2 FCIAC record, and wins over Ridgefield and Greenwich, Wilton is looking to get as high as the third seed when coaches vote on the seeding later in the week.
The group of teams in the mix for the third through sixth seeds — Wilton, Greenwich, Ridgefield and Staples — have played five games against each other and all were decided by one goal.
Wiseman said that, wherever the Warriors land, Tuesday’s win was a good way to go into the playoffs.
“You’re trying to peak at the end. I would have liked us to perform better against John Jay and Yorktown. Those things are in the past,” he said. “We were looking at this game to build and create some momentum and tempo. Hopefully we can carry this with us.”
Notes: The Warriors were coming off a 19-4 win over Norwalk last Saturday.
Dean DiNanno led the offense with five goals, while Liam Sullivan had three goals and two assists and McGovern had three goals and one assist.
The Warriors also got two goals each from Charlie Hess and AJ Pykosz, and one goal each from Murtha, Liam Rance, DiSanto and Will Sullivan
McDermott had four assists, with one assist each from Jason Spaulding, Zach Zeyher and Scarfi.
Wilton also defeated Fairfield Ludlowe last Thursday, 13-7.
McGovern had three goals and an assist to lead the scoring, and Brian Calabrese tallied two goals and three assists.
Drake, Spaulding and DiSanto each scored two goals, with one goal each from Koch, Murtha and Rance each had one goal. Murtha and DiSanto each had an assist.