Calabrese's late goal lifts Wilton past John Jay
The Wilton High boys lacrosse team's thrilling 7-6 triumph over John Jay (N.Y.) on Saturday night ultimately came down to being in the right place at the right time.
Or, more precisely, having sophomore attackman Brian Calabrese in that spot at that moment.
After three unanswered goals — two from senior captain Matt Lupinacci — pulled John Jay into a 6-6 tie with less than three minutes remaining, Wilton gained possession and went on the attack, passing the ball around the perimeter and looking for an open look. Off a redirected attempt, Calabrese found the ball and scored to put Wilton ahead, 7-6, with 1:34 to go.
The Warriors then held John Jay scoreless to come away with the triumph, extend their winning streak to three games, and raise their overall record to 7-3.
At the start of the game, it was hard to imagine the hosts needing such a dramatic moment. Two minutes into the game, Wilton's Kieran McGovern scored on a top-shelf shot off an assist from Joe Murtha for a 1-0 lead. Just 25 seconds later, John Maudsley found Zach Zeyher open in front of the crease for Wilton's second goal.
Later in the quarter, Wilton made it 3-0 when Harrison Koch went on a run from behind the net, scoring on a leaping shot from five yards out. Calabrese then passed to Maudsley for a goal and a 4-0 advantage.
On the other end of the field, the Warriors' stifling defense — aided by exceptional checking from Harrison Koch and Michael Brown — was able to force bad shots and loose balls, keeping John Jay scoreless through the first quarter.
Harrison Bardwell's goal on an assist from Murtha increased Wilton's advantage to 5-0 before the Indians got the final two goals of the opening half, including William Slater's score with 11 seconds remaining that trimmed the Warriors' lead to 5-2 at the break.
The Warriors resumed their strong defensive play in the third quarter, holding John Jay to just one goal on three minutes of possession. But the Indians were even stingier, keeping Wilton scoreless to trail 5-3 going into the final period.
McGovern's second goal of the game, assisted by Murtha, put Wilton ahead, 6-3, with 10 minutes left. John Jay then went on its 3-0 run to tie the game, getting the equalizer from Lupinacci on a man-up situation with just over two minutes to play.
Wilton's RJ Romeo won the ensuing face-off, culminating in Calabrese's game-winner with 1:34 remaining.
Notes: Romeo was instrumental in Wilton's victory, winning 11 of 14 face-offs.
Freshman goalie Andrew Calabrese also played well, finishing with 10 saves for the Warriors.
Shane Katchadurian stopped 11 shots for John Jay, which is now 8-4 this season.