Experiencing a defeat against Wilton in the final seconds didn’t cause the members of the Greenwich boys lacrosse team to hang their heads and go through a letdown in their next game.
Instead, it lit a a little bit more fire in the Cardinals.
Two days after the tough loss to Wilton, Greenwich got right back on the winning track, defeating FCIAC foe Fairfield Ludlowe, 14-5, at Cardinal Stadium.
“We had a really close game against Wilton (a 9-8 loss) that we thought we had a chance of winning, but it didn’t go our way,” Greenwich senior midfielder Jack Cook said. “We really battled in the fourth quarter against Wilton and that momentum we came out with in the first quarter today, getting a lot of shots on net.”
The home win moved Greenwich’s record to 9-4 overall. The Cardinals’ FCIAC record is 8-1, so if they defeat Danbury on the road on Monday, they will capture the FCIAC West Division title. Staples, which is in second place in the FCIAC West Division has two losses.
“We’ll be ready to win our first championship of the year,” said Cardinals senior Chris Cataldo, who along with sophomore Mattthew Trimmer, senior Jonathan Doyle, senior Jack O’Malley and junior Roy Knutson, helped lead the squad’s strong defensive effort.
Senior attack John Cataldo, who missed Greenwich’s game against Wilton with a wrist injury, was back in action for the team in a big way on Saturday. Cataldo scored five goals to pace the offense, which received four goals and two assists from senior attackman Bryce Metalios, two goals and three assists from sophomore Brian Collins and two goals and one assist from junior Wesley Zolin.
“The boys still had a little bit of anger from that Wilton loss, which carried over into today,” Greenwich coach Bobby Lutz said. “The defense played absolutely amazing and Charlie Zola (goalie) was a wall in goal. The offense clicked and if the defense plays that well, then the offense doesn’t have pressure to score, they can let it happen naturally.”
Junior Murph Hoey made 11 saves for the Falcons, which got two goals and two assists from junior midfielder Colin McCarthy.
“Their goalie was great, he started off hot, but because we kept getting stops on defense and the score stayed 0-0, we knew we could get goals and then we did,” Lutz said. “Having strong defense helps the offense be more comfortable with the ball.”
Greenwich, which began clicking offensively in the second quarter, then 8-4 midway through the third quarter. Senior midfielder Will Montesi’s goal off a pass from Metalios gave the Cardinals a six-goal lead at 10-4 at the 2:40 mark of the third quarter.
John Cataldo’s goal in transition off a feed from Cook put the Cardinals on top, 11-4, with 9:55 to go in the fourth quarter. Metalios scored off a nifty spin move and Zolin converted a shot off a strong run to the goal in the final quarter.
“Their goalie played really well in the first quarter and after that we were able to pound the ball on net and score,” Cook said. “So it was a really strong game for us from start to end.”
Junior midfielder James Pilc assisted on three goals, Cook had three assists and Montesi had a goal for the victors. Junior Quinn Warwick won six faceoffs for Greenwich, which saw Zola make 10 saves.
“It was a tough matchup for us all day, but we really performed to our potential and we showed everyone just how good we really can be, because that’s a really good FCIAC team over there,” Chris Cataldo said of Ludlowe. “We really played our all today. We were sliding and working as a team on defense and we were firing on all cylinders.”
Junior midfielder Colin McCarthy had two goals and two assists for the Falcons, who also got one goal and one assist from freshman John Kleinbeck.
Following its Danbury game on Tuesday, Greenwich hosts non-conference foe Cheshire on Thursday.
“We wanted to have this win,” Montesi said. “They (Ludlowe) are a really legit team, they hung with some of the other top tier FCIAC teams, so going in and playing them hard was really good for us. This season, no one overlooks any game, so we’ll be locked in against Danbury.”