Simsbury edges Wilton boys lax in state quarterfinals
In a back-and-forth game, the Wilton boys lacrosse team was unable to come back far enough.
Down by three goals with under five minutes to play in Saturday's Class L state tournament quarterfinal against host Simsbury, the Warriors got goals from Brian Calabrese and Harrison Koch to close within 14-13 at the 2:20 mark. But Simsbury goalie Jordan Walsh then made several impressive saves to keep Wilton from netting the equalizer before time expired.
With the victory, second-seed Simsbury (19-1) advances to face sixth-seed Fairfield Prep in the semifinals on Wednesday (site and time TBA). The winner will meet either top-seed Darien or fifth-seed Ridgefield in the Class L finals next Saturday at Brien McMahon High School in Norwalk.
Wilton, the seventh seed, finished the season with a 13-6 record.
Saturday's game was close and tense throughout, with neither team able to create separation.
The Trojans took an early 3-1 lead before Harrison Koch scored twice to tie the score with 3:00 left in the first quarter. Offsetting goals from Simsbury's Zach Levin and Wilton's Jared Gladstein produced a 4-4 tie at the end of the period.
Simsbury had an 8-6 lead with under six minutes remaining before halftime, but Harrison Koch and Peter Koch answered with man-advantage goals to forge an 8-8 tie at the break.
Kieran McGovern and Harrison Koch scored at the start of the third period, putting Wilton in front, 10-8. But goals from Levin and Keith Penney allowed Simsbury to knot the game at 10-10 going into the final 12 minutes.
Following another goal from Levin, Wilton freshman Connor Drake scored to make it 11-11 early in the fourth quarter. Simsbury then tallied the next three goals to go ahead, 14-11, with 4:20 remaining.
Calabrese and Harrison Koch pulled the Warriors closer, but Walsh shut the door from there to keep Wilton from forcing overtime.
Notes: Harrison Koch finished with five goals for Wilton. Peter Koch, McGovern and Drake added two goals apiece, while Gladstein and Calabrese each had one goal.
Levin led Simsbury with five goals