Boys lacrosse: Warriors rout Prep 12-5 to reach state semifinals
A year after a first-round loss to Simsbury ended its state tournament way too early, the Wilton High boys lacrosse team is one game away from the state finals.
The sixth-seeded Warriors (15-5) advanced to the Class L semifinals with a complete 12-5 win at Fairfield Prep in the quarterfinals on Saturday, and will face seventh-seeded Cheshire next Wednesday.
Behind an outstanding performance by goalie Andrew Calabrese (17 saves), the Warriors held the third-seeded Jesuits (15-4) to two goals through the first three quarters, and then exploded for six fourth-quarter goals to put the game away.
“The whole team played well. It was a great team win. They played for 48 minutes. Andrew had one helluva game,” said head coach John Wiseman. “I think the defense played really well together. They only scored one all-ever goal. All their other goal were man-down. The defense played great.
He continued, “We’ve got something to prove. I think we’re still thinking about that Simsbury loss last year. That helps us. But we’re obviously a really good team and the kid are playing well.”
Calabrese set the tone early, making seven saves in the first quarter as the Warriors built an early 3-0 lead.
The first two goals came in transition. Connor Drake scored off a feed from Brian Calabrese with 6:30 left in the first quarter to make it 1-0. Prep’s Chris Brown appeared to have tied things up 30 seconds later, but the goal was negated by a crease violation. In the confusion as to whether the goal counted, Wilton quickly sent the ball the other way, with Calabrese scoring to make it 2-0.
Kieran McGovern then scored off a feed from Drake to make it 3-0 with 4:22 left in the period.
Neither team produced many scoring chances in a turnover-marred second quarter, the only goal scored by Brown with 6:07 left in the period to cut the lead to 3-1 at halftime
Both Andrew Calabrese and Prep goalie Matt Pinho came up with big saves early in the second half, and Calabrese later made a pair of saves in matter of seconds to keep the score at 3-1.
Wilton ended a 22-minute scoring drought with 5:28 left in the third quarter when Brian Calabrese made a run from the side into the crease to score.
After Andrew Calabrese made a point-blank save on Mason Reale during a Prep man-up situation, the Warriors went the other way and made it 5-1, with 2:47 left in the period, as Liam Rance scored off a Brian Calabrese assist.
Connor Boyle scored on a rising shot from 10 yards out to get Prep to within 5-2 with about a minute left in the quarter, but Wilton answered just 18 seconds later as Christopher Sweeney won the face-off and Joe Scarfi scored in front off a pass from Drake, making it 6-2 after three quarters.
Peter Cavanaugh fired in a long-range shot for Prep to open the fourth quarter, but goals by Rance and Drake upped the lead to 8-3 with 7:28 left to play. Wilton put the game away with three goals in a span of 32 seconds to make it 11-3 with four minutes left to play.
For Wilton, Drake, Brian Calabrese, Rance, Scarfi and McGovern each had two goals, with single tallies from Peter Koch and Joe Murtha. Drake also had three assists, while Calabrese and Scarfi each had two assists. Koch and AJ Hoffman each had one assist.
The Warriors played without starting close defender Ryan Schriber, who was resting an injury. Colin Carroll stepped into his shoes and played rock-solid defense, along with Hoffman, Tyler Previte and Scarfi, plus a group of middies that included Harley Jeanty, Nolan Quinn, A.J. Pykosz, Jason Spaulding, Nick DiSanto and Zach Zeyher.
“I think our defense has played great all year. We’ve had a couple of lapses, most particularly the Darien games,” said coach Wiseman. “The defense played well and they played well together. They’re a very cohesive unit."
For Prep, Brown led the scoring with two goals, with other goals by Boyle, Cavanaugh and Mitchell Savoca.