Warde held its own against the Greenwich boys lacrosse team for as long as it could during Friday's FCIAC Tournament quarterfinals. Then, unfortunately for the Mustangs, the Cardinals produced one of their signature spurts that's spelled doom for many opponents so far this season.
Scoring eight unanswered goals during a 13-minute span, second-seeded Greenwich cruised to an impressive 14-5 victory over seventh-seeded Warde at Cardinal Stadium. The win put the Cardinals in the semifinal round of the FCIAC Tournament, where they will play either Ridgefield or St. Joseph on Tuesday.
Making its first appearance in the FCIAC tourney, the Mustangs (11-6) witnessed what makes the Cardinals such a tough team to contend with. Defending all of Greenwich's offensive threats is a daunting challenge, and Friday, Cardinals junior attack Decker Curran broke loose for five goals and one assist.
"We came out wanting to get possession, run our offense and can our shots and for the most part, we did that," GHS coach Scott Bulkley said. "When we move the ball the way we did today, good things will happen."
The elusive Curran helped the Cards function like a well-oiled machine offensively.
"Today, we did a good job of executing our game plan," Curran said. "Shooting the ball, keeping the ball hot and using off-ball picks -- that's what we were able to do most of the game. We had nine guys in the offensive zone working together."
Senior midfielder Kyle Foote, senior midfielder Sam Saleeby, sophomore midfielder Will Perry and senior attackman James Paradise scored twice each for the victors (15-2).
"I thought we played well," Foote said. "Everyone was excited for this tournament and this was a good first step for us."
The Mustangs, who did not play the Cardinals during the regular season, received two goals from senior Kyle Scheetz.
"Our guys showed resiliency and heart, we had a tough go of it, playing for the third straight day," Warde coach Tom Cunningham said. "Greenwich had the legs on us and the experience. But I'm happy with where are program is at this point."
Goals from senior attack Luke Finneran, Saleeby, senior middie Ryan Flippin and Perry gave the home team a 4-0 edge 6:29 into the first quarter. The Mustangs cut the Cards' lead to 4-2 on goals from Scheetz and junior Brendan King, but GHS caught fire early in the second quarter. After Curran scored, Foote tallied in transition and sophomore Bobby Goggin (three assists) found senior Jamie Paradise on the run for a goal, making it 7-2.
Foote snapped a laser past Warde senior goalie Jason Nerreau to give the Cardinals an 8-2 halftime advantage. Goggin set Curran up for another tally, and Perry tallied off a spectacular tough-angled shot to put the Mustangs in a 10-2 hole with 10:38 left in the third quarter.
"I have been working on those shots in practice the whole year. It was great to score in that situation," Perry said. "Right now, we're playing our best lacrosse of the season."
Junior Mike Sullivan once again gave the Cards plenty of possessions, winning 10 faceoffs. When Warde was on offense, seniors Jack Nail, Jack Harrington and Cole Perry helped keep the Mustangs at bay. Junior goalie Tommy Rogan made seven saves in the win. Read Full Article
"Our defense played really well," Bulkley said. "Holding a good team like that to five goals is a good day."
Warde, which also received goals from Austin Armas and Jack Potenza, got eight saves from Nerreau.
"This game was a tremendous learning experience for our players going forward," Cunningham said. "The experience they received from playing in a game like this against such a great team will help us in states."
GREENWICH 14, WARDE 5
WARDE 1 1 1 2 -- 5
GREENWICH 4 4 4 2 -- 14
Records: Fairfield Warde 11-6; Greenwich 15-2.
Scoring: FW -- Kyle Scheetz (2 g); Austin Armas (1 g); Brendan King (1 g, 1 a); Jack Potenza (1 g); G -- Jamie Paradise (1 g, 1 a); Luke Finneran (1 g, 1 a); Bobby Goggin (3 a); Kyle Foote (2 g); Ryan Flippin (2 g, 1 a); Decker Curran (5 g, 1 a); Sam Saleeby (2 g); John Tooher (1 g); Will Perry (2 g). Goalies: FW -- Jason Nerreau (8 saves); G -- Tommy Rogan (7 saves).