Wilton well represented on NCAA lacrosse teams
Over the past four decades, Wilton has established itself as one of the premier breeding grounds for lacrosse players in the northeast. Many of its players have gone on to compete at the collegiate level, where the ultimate goal each year is to win a national championship.
This year is no different: Seventeen Wiltonians were on the rosters of college teams that qualified for NCAA tournaments.
Nine of those players are members of Division I teams, including former Wilton High standout Casey Pearsall. Since setting single-season records for goals (77), caused turnovers (50), draw controls (118) and points (118) by a midfielder at Wilton High School, Pearsall has had no trouble translating her star power to the big stage at Notre Dame.
This past Sunday, the junior scored twice and assisted three times in the sixth-seeded Fighting Irish’s 15-3 win over Northwestern, helping Notre Dame advance to the NCAA Division I women's tournament quarterfinals, where they will play third-seed North Carolina.
Pearsall's younger sister, Makenna, is a freshman at Notre Dame but has not played this season due to injury.
Sophomore face-off specialist Ted Ottens and fifth-seed Brown recently defeated unseeded Johns Hopkins, 17-8, in the first round of the NCAA Division I men's tournament. The Bears’ next opponent is Navy, which is coming off an upset of fourth-seed Yale in the first round.
This season, Ottens had a winning percentage of .593 on 135 face-offs. Ottens, a 2013 Wilton High graduate, helped the Warriors win the Class M state championship during his senior season.
The eighth-seeded Cornell women's team included Catherine Moubayed, a senior defenseman and a 2012 graduate of St. Mark’s School in Massachusetts, and Cait Callahan, a sophomore midfielder and 2014 graduate of the Hotchkiss School in Salisbury.
Moubayed, a former Fearing Prize recipient at St Mark’s as the school’s top female athlete, played 18 games this season for Cornell, scoring twice and recording 20 ground balls. Callahan, a four-year varsity athlete in ice hockey, field hockey and lacrosse at Hotchkiss, was also a member of the Big Red team that defeated Canisius, 15-11, in the first round of the NCAA Division I tournament before losing to Massachusetts, 7-6, in the next round.
Megan Boepple, a 2013 Wilton High graduate, helped her Loyola (MD) Greyhounds reach the NCAA DI tournament, where they lost to Duke, 14-8, in the first round. Boepple appeared in 14 games during the 2015-16 season, scoring once.
Quinnipiac senior and 2012 Wilton High graduate Connor Devane was part of the Bobcats' team that fell to top-seed Maryland, 13-6, in the first round of the DI men's tournament. Devane made the 2016 MAAC (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) All-Academic Team and appeared 10 times as a face-off specialist for Quinnipiac this season.
Shannon Quinlan, a sophomore midfielder, was a member of the James Madison women's team that lost to Stanford, 9-8, in the opening round of the NCAA Division I tournament. Quinlan was a four-year varsity player at Wilton High School, where she scored 133 goals and had 38 assists.
The men’s and women’s lacrosse teams at Middlebury College each feature a former Wilton resident. Sean Carroll recently helped the Panthers reach the NCAA Division III tournament, where they fell to Springfield, 11-10, in the first round. The senior midfielder had an outstanding season, scoring 34 goals and adding seven assists in 19 games, 17 of which he started.
All Sciarretta had two assists as the Middlebury women's team beat FDU-Fordham, 12-7, in the first round of the NCAA Division III tournament. The senior attackman recorded an impressive 53 points this season on 38 goals and 15 assists. Middleburg’s second-round opponent is St. John Fisher College.
Conor Johnson, the starting goalie for Wilton's 2013 Class M state champions, is part of the St. Lawrence University team that dismantled New England College, 25-2, in the first round of the DIII men's tournament. In the second round, Johnson and the Saints squeaked out a 12-9 win against Springfield College. Their next opponent, in the quarterfinals, is Amherst College.
Another Wilton duo is featured on the women’s team at Franklin and Marshall College, which opened the NCAA Division III tournament with a 14-3 victory over Mount Union and now faces Brockport.
Samantha Blicht, a junior defenseman and former two-time All-FCIAC first-team selection at Wilton High, has been a rock on defense for the Diplomats throughout her collegiate career. This season, Blight has started all 21 games, recording 34 ground balls and causing 34 turnovers. Christie Huidekoper, a 2012 Wilton High graduate and former All-FCIAC first-team choice, has played in 14 games for Franklin and Marshall this season, scoring three goals.
Current junior and 2013 Wilton High graduate Lydia Freliech is a member of the Colorado College women’s team, which has advanced to the second round of the Division III tournament after knocking off Rhodes College, 18-2. Freliech has played in 13 games during the 2015-16 season, scoring one goal.
Freshman defenseman Casey Tucker, a former standout at Wilton High, has helped the Amherst College women's team reach the second round of the NCAA Division III tournament, after defeating York (Pa.), 12-7, in the first round. Tucker has started 14 games, logging nine ground balls and causing eight turnovers.
Hannah Wiltshire, the starting goalie on the 2014 Class M state champion Wilton High girls team, and a former All-FCIAC and All-State first-team selection, made 29 saves in 12 appearances this season for the Washington and Lee Generals. Wiltshire, a sophomore, helped the Generals reach the NCAA Division III tournament, where they fell to Mount Union, 11-10, in the first round.