Wilton boys lax team pulls away to beat St. Joseph

The Wilton High boys lacrosse team scored seven goals in the third quarter to double its first-half output en route to a 17-9 triumph over St. Joseph on Tuesday at Fujitani Field.

The Warriors are now 8-3 overall and 5-3 in the FCIAC.

St. Joseph took a 1-0 lead just 1:27 into the game as it quickly moved the ball up the field, with Kevin Trefz scoring on a Jared Newel pass.

The Warriors tied it the game with 7:43 to play in the first quarter, as Harrison Koch found the back of the net, assisted by Michael Brown.

A long laser shot from Matt Labash gave the Cadets a 2-1 lead with 6:06 left in the period. But 22 seconds later, Wilton's Kieran McGovern scored to tie the game. McGovern attacked from the side of the net and put the ball in the far corner.

The Wilton offense finally started taking advantage of face-off wins by RJ Romeo and tallied three goals in the final 3:03 of the quarter for a 5-2 lead. Harrison Koch, McGovern and John Maudsley did the scoring for the Warriors. McGovern was left wide open in front of the net and faked out the goalie for his score; Maudsley’s goal came when he picked up a ground ball in front of the crease and fired it home.

Romeo had a significant role in the victory, as he won 25 of the game's 28 face-offs against a St. Joseph understudy.

“He wasn’t their regular face-off man," said Romeo, "and he helped me get the win on a couple by holding me.

“We showed good ball movement after my face-off wins and my teammates turned them into scores," added Romeo. "Our ball movement has improved since early in the season. We have a lot of first-year varsity players, so it took a while to get in a rhythm.”

Both teams scored a man-up goal in the second quarter, as the Wilton lead grew to 7-3 by halftime. Connor Drake and Harrison Koch had the goals for the Warriors. Wilton also killed off a two-man advantage for St. Joseph.

The Warriors took control in the third period, outscoring the Cadets, 7-3, to carry a 14-6 lead into the final quarter. Co-captain Harrison Bardwell led the way with three goals, while Brian Calabrese, Peter Koch, Drake, and Joe Murtha added one goal apiece.

Each team scored three times in the fourth period, with Wilton's goals coming from Harrison Koch (his fourth of the game), Maudsley and James Arbisi.

Although the Warriors won the game going away, they still put the ball on the ground too many times for head coach John Wiseman's liking.

“The turnovers have to stop; these kids need to focus and be more attentive in their ball management,” said Wiseman. "We need the 33 kids on this team to come out and be ready to play. We have a lot of talent on this team and they need to show up each time out. They have to believe in themselves and go out and perform the way I know they can."