Boys lacrosse: Warriors rout Farmington in first round of states
The Wilton boys lacrosse team got back on the horse after falling to Darien in the semifinal round of the FCIAC playoffs, coming away with a convincing 17-3 win over the Farmington Indians Wednesday afternoon at Fujitani Field, in the first round of the Class L state playoffs.
That’s the good news.
The win means the eighth-seeded Warriors (14-6) will now advance to the quarterfinals to play — you know it — the Darien Blue Wave.
Top-seeded Darien (20-0) has already beaten Wilton twice this year, outscoring the Warriors 29-11. The match is scheduled for Saturday at 3 in Darien.
Farmington, the ninth season, finished the season 11-7.
At Wednesday’s game, all the Wilton seniors were announced prior to the game, as this will be their last home game as Warriors. Nineteen seniors suited up for the last time in their home white uniforms and they made sure to leave the field with a win.
“A lot of emotion in today’s game. I have so many memories on this field. It was special to take the field one last time,” said one of the seniors, Brian Calabrese. “I played several years of varsity football and lacrosse on this field and being part of the Wilton program has been special to me.”
As for the team’s next opponent Calabrese said, “We have to go in with the right mindset, not to be afraid of them, knowing that we can beat them. We know we have to keep our foot on the pedal and work hard until the final whistle.”
In the game, 12 different Warriors found the back of the net, led by the hat trick by senior Ryan McDermott, followed by two goals apiece by Brian Calabrese, Dean DiNanno, and Joe Murtha.
Single tallies where recorded for Alex Acosta-Rua, Dylan Kennedy, Connor Drake, Nolan Quinn, Zach Zeyher, Michael Hueglin, Andrew Luciano and Zach Rossi.
The Indians’ defense gave the Warrior offense open looks at the net and they took advantage of it. Wilton took a 3-0 lead with just under four minutes to play in the first quarter. The third tally came when goalie Andrew Calabrese brought the ball up to the midfield stripe before passing it to Dan Reilly Sullivan, who found McDermott for the score.
Aidan Sposato got the Indians on the board with a goal with under two minutes left in the period, but a goal by DiNanno gave the Warriors a 4-1 lead after one.
The Warriors scored six times in the second quarter, while their defense and goalie held Farmington scoreless for the 10-1 halftime lead. Acosta-Rua’s goal opened the scoring in the period, as the Warriors executed the transition from defense quickly for the score. Kennedy’s goal came as he picked a loose ball from a long rebound, and Drake’s just went over the goal line as the Indians keeper got a piece of it.
Wilton kept its foot on the pedal with another six goals in the third quarter, while again pitching a shutout on the defensive end, for a 16-1 lead after three quarters.
The highlight for the period was when McDermott picked off a pass at the side of the net and was one-on-one with the Indians’ goalie. McDermott made quick work for his third goal of the game.
With the Warriors holding a commanding lead, the coaching staff was able to play just about everybody, even three goalies.
Andrew Calabrese got the start in net and played the entire first half. Senior Jake Beshlian came on to start the second half and Brandon Jonsson, called up from JV for the playoffs, finished the game in goal.
Each of the goalies allowed one goal. Although the game was well out of reach, Beshlian made two great saves during a Warrior penalty in the fourth quarter.
As for the next match, assistant head coach Steve Pearsall echoed the same message as the head coach.
“We have to go out and play 48 minutes of lacrosse,” stated Pearsall. “We have to handle the pressure and not let (Darien) go on a scoring run. On offense, we have to make the extra pass and we can’t let them push us around when we’re on attack. We have to do our best to keep the ball moving and limit our mistakes.”