Boys lacrosse: Warriors end tough week with loss to Darien

Connor Drake prepares to unleash a shot during the Wilton boys lacrosse team's loss at Darien on Saturday. — J.B. Cozens photo
Connor Drake prepares to unleash a shot during the Wilton boys lacrosse team's loss at Darien on Saturday. — J.B. Cozens photo

Saturday’s 12-6 loss at unbeaten Darien ended what was as tough a week as the Wilton High boys lacrosse team’s had in some time.

Coming off losses at Chaminade and Ridgefield, Saturday’s tilt was the third road game against an elite opponent in five days.

The Warriors dropped to 3-4 with the loss. Darien improved to 8-0.

Asked after the game if he was concerned, head coach John Wiseman said there was plenty of lacrosse still to play, and pointed to Wilton’s tradition of finishing seasons strong.

“It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. We’ll figure it out. It’s just frustrating because you know the talent that we have and what we could do. Our record should be different,” he said. “We have to earn that. No one's going to give it to you.

He continued, “We’ll do it the way we’ve been doing it historically. We’ll get there in the end.”

The Blue Wave wasted no time to take the lead, scoring twice in the first minute. The lead was 6-2 after one quarter, and went to 7-2 in the second quarter.

Wilton responded with a pair of goals. Joe Murtha scored a man-up goal off a great feed by Connor Drake, and Brian Calabrese rifled a shot in from about 10 yards out, making it 7-4.

Calabrese nearly cut the lead to 7-5 late in the first half, as he came from behind the net, spun around a defender and got off a shot that got by goalie Sean Collins and bounced around the goal mouth, but somehow never crossed the line.

Murtha scored with a well-placed shot into the top right corner to cut the lead to 7-5 early in the third quarter.

Whatever momentum the Warriors had was lost, however, as they couldn’t hold possession and made some ill-fated passes that resulted in turnovers the rest of the period.

Penalties were also a killer, with three in the quarter along with the final 50 seconds of a penalty carried over from the first half.

Darien capitalized on two of the man-up situations to take a 9-5 lead, and were up 10-6 after three quarters. The Warriors never got on track in the fourth quarter.

“When we play for 48 minutes we can play with anybody,” said Wiseman. “We’ll get there. It’s really just concentration, that’s all.”

Brian Calabrese and Murtha each had two goals for Wilton, with other goals by Liam Sullivan and Dean DiNanno. Drake had an assist. Andrew Calabrese made 12 saves in goal.

For Darien, Jackson Peters and Brian Minicus each had three goals, while Jack Joyce and Hudson Pokorny each had two goals. Tanner Strub and Henri Pfeifle also scored. Minicus also had four assists.

Collins was tremendous in goal for Darien with 17 saves.

“We jumped out early. They chipped away. We responded and never let it get closer than two,” commented Darien head coach Jeff Bramier. “Our goalie had a tremendous day. He proved he’s right there with any of the best goalies in the state. He’s kind of an unknown entity. He’s been our rock in the net.”