Five goals apiece from John Cataldo and Bryce Metalios, a strong defensive effort and impressive passing resulted in the Greenwich boys lacrosse team’s first win of the season.
After starting their season with losses to Staples and Fairfield Prep, the Cardinals entered the win column Tuesday, cruising to a 17-3 victory against visiting Westhill in an FCIAC game.
“We had a complete game, when you look at faceoffs, ground balls, rides, clears, transition, offense and defense,” Greenwich coach Bobby Lutz said. “From top to bottom, they all played well together. It’s an FCIAC win, which is what we needed and we hope we keep building on that.”
Greenwich (1-2, 1-1 FCIAC) received goals from seven players en route to the win. The Cardinals travel to Brien McMahon on Thursday, then face rival Ridgefield on Saturday on the road. Westhill is 2-5 overall and 0-4 in FCIAC play.
“We came out swinging today, we’ve been talking about playing with a sense of urgency,” said Cardinals senior captain James O’Malley, who helped ignite the squad’s solid defensive effort. “It’s been real important for us to start the game off right and then continue it throughout the game. We did that today and we’re looking to do that against McMahon coming up and against Ridgefield on Saturday.”
Metalios, a junior, had two assists to go along with his five goals, while junior James Pilc tallied one goal and one assist for the victors. Sophomore Brian Collins sparked the squad offensively as well, registering three goals and one assist.
“I thought we played pretty well as a unit, much better than the last two games,” said senior captain Chris Cataldo, who assisted on a goal. “We looked better and we will be ready for McMahon on Thursday and Ridgefield on Saturday.”
The Cardinals went into the season an inexperienced team with a lot of players beginning their first year at the varsity level. That coupled with the team starting the season late due to being in quarantine for two weeks, helped make the first two games of the season a learning experience for numerous players.
“Now that we had a couple of practices, a couple of games, all of us are getting used to the level of play, especially the young guys,” Chris Cataldo said. “Once we get all of our main starters back, especially our FOGO, we will be looking much better.”
Nathan Duffy and Wesley Zolin, both juniors, each had one goal and senior James Rinello had an assist for the Cardinals.
“We’re not young age wise, but we’re young in terms of experience,” Lutz said. “Today was great, because we got to play everybody. Today we kind of merged everyone and it let the experienced kids work with the new kids.”
Lutz saw several positive signs in Tuesday’s triumph against Westhill.
“The fact that we spread the ball around a little bit, we had a bunch of assists, that was good to see,” Lutz said.
The Cardinals played without senior midfielder/captain Will Montesi, who was resting his hamstring. Lutz said Montesi should return to action Thursday or Saturday.
“We came out a little bit slow they are a really athletic team,” Montesi said of Westhill. “But we definitely clicked and we started burying our shots and ended up coming out with a pretty substantial win. Right now, we are 1-1 in the FCIAC, so we are middle of the pack. These in-conference wins are important.”