By Andrew Callahan
WILTON — Two boys lacrosse teams entered Fujitani Field Tuesday night for a heated FCIAC conference game, but only one could boast to be a reigning state champion. Forty-eight minutes of play later, the title-holders on that club fell to a rival squad that looked very ready to dethrone them this 2014 season.
New Canaan (2-1, 2-0 FCIAC) blitzed 2013 Class M champion Wilton with an eight-goal first quarter and held on the rest of the way in a 14-8 final at Wilton High. Ram attack Justin Meichner recorded four goals in the opening frame, en route to five on the night, as Cole Turpin turned in three goals and three assists. The Warriors fell to 2-1 on the young season, unable to recover from their poor start.
“Our riding was great,” New Canaan coach Chip Buzzeo said. “Not only by our attackmen, but by our midfield, too. And I thought our face-off play was much improved. Also, in these weather conditions, for us to shoot the way we did tonight, it was pretty amazing.”
A steady rain kept the game’s temperature hovering below 50 degrees from start to finish, but no element could slow the early Ram ambush. Turpin earned a point on each of the first three New Canaan goals in a four-minute span, before Meichner recorded his second score with help from Harry Stanton. Stanton, who tallied a pair of goals and assists, quickly answered a Wilton score by Mike Lynch 10 minutes in with an unassisted effort to pushed the margin to 5-2 Rams.
Over the remainder of the period, the Warriors continued to struggle with their visitors’ speed and surrendered three more goals.
“We spotted them too many goals too early,” Wilton coach John Wiseman said.
“They’re certainly a good team, but that quarter isn’t a reflection of who we really are. We’re a younger team, and I think what you saw was just some mental errors and missed assignments, where they were very active and we weren’t on them like we should have been.”
Seniors Dan Baird and Will Garbus combined to produce a couple of Warrior goals in the second stanza, only to be matched by the pair of points rung up by New Canaan’s Robby Paul.
Paul’s unassisted score at the 7:01 mark pushed the Rams’ lead to seven, the largest it would grow all night.
Wilton began the second half by closing to within 10-6 via back-to-back goals and wonderful work in the crease by goalie Josh Worley.
However, following an excellent Worley save, the Rams’ Michael Kraus picked up an unclaimed ball in front and put it away to halt all Warrior momentum. The teams would each net three scores from that point onward.
New Canaan, which had just returned after a weekend trip to New Jersey, where it fell 10-5 to prep power St. Anthony’s, exuded great confidence going forward.
“This is definitely the way we’re going to keep on playing,” Meichner said. “(St. Anthony’s) was a rough game. We had a bunch of turnovers. Tonight, we just had to execute and we did it this game.” Read Full Article
New Canaan 14, Wilton 8
NEW CANAAN 8 2 2 2—14
WILTON 2 2 2 2—8
Records: New Canaan 2-1, Wilton 2-1. Scoring: NC—Justin Meichner 5 goals, 1 assist, Cole Turpin 3g, 3a, Harry Stanton 2g, 2a, Robby Paul 2g, 1a, Michael Kraus 2g, Kyle Smith 1a; W— Mike Lynch 3g, 1a, Brendan Devane 2g, 1a, Dan Baird 1g, 1a, Will Garbus 1g, 1a, Luke Rizzo 1g. Goalies: NC—Trent Nader (6 saves); W—Josh Worley (18). Shots: NC—42; W—25.