Boys lacrosse: Weston’s reign ends in semifinals

Weston High’s Austin Drimal, left, and Eli Page vie for the ball with a couple of New Fairfield opponents during the South-West Conference boys Division I lacrosse semifinals last Tuesday, May 21. Weston lost 9-8  to end its reign as SWC champ.—Rocco Paul Valluzzo photo

Weston High’s Austin Drimal, left, and Eli Page vie for the ball with a couple of New Fairfield opponents during the South-West Conference boys Division I lacrosse semifinals last Tuesday, May 21. Weston lost 9-8 to end its reign as SWC champ.—Rocco Paul Valluzzo photo

Having pulled off one upset in the South-West Conference Division I playoffs, the Weston High boys lacrosse team was a legitimate threat to pull off another in the semifinals last week.

Despite trailing most of the time to second-ranked New Fairfield, the defending champ Trojans remained just a goal or two from catching their opponent. Time gave out before their efforts did as they came up short in a 9-8 loss to officially surrender their title on Tuesday, May 21, at Blue and Gold Stadium in Newtown.

“They have some good players,” said Weston head coach John Mathews, whose team beat Newtown in the semifinals a day earlier. “It came down to depth.”

With not as many players the Trojans could not substitute as frequently.

Weston actually struck first, coming with 9:07 left in the first quarter when Sean Fumai netted his first goal of the contest. It would be his team’s only lead.

Mathews noted his team had trouble clearing the ball at times. The Rebels would take advantage of such opportunities.

Back-to-back goals by Matt Altman put New Fairfield in the lead and with 49 seconds to go in the opening frame Ryan Lewis added another to make it 3-1.

Both sides battled for supremacy in the next frame as it remained a two-goal game. Troy Flynn (two goals) and Fumai led the attack for Weston, which trailed 6-4 at halftime.

When play resumed the Trojans cut the gap to one early in the third quarter when Richie Miller stole the ball from a defender on an attempted clear from behind the goal and slipped a shot past New Fairfield goalie Joe Carlucci to make it 6-5.

New Fairfield then increased the pressure on attack with a barrage of shots in the next five minutes. None got through as Grant Limone made six saves.

“He keeps up in every game,” said Mathews. “He’s our back wall.”

Ultimately the Rebels did break through with 5:31 left on a goal by Liam Moriarty. He assisted on one by Lewis early in the next frame as the lead grew to 8-5.

Weston managed to chop away at the lead and when Fumai scored with 1:41 to go it trailed only 9-8. It had possession with less than a minute left but lost it on an offsides call. The Rebels then essentially ran out the clock for the win.

Fumai led Weston with four goals. He also had an assist.

Flynn scored two (two assists). Miller and Spencer Turkel netted one apiece.

Eli Page had an assist, as did Limone, who made 20 saves in goal.

“Our kids fought hard,” said Mathews. “I’m happy with the way we’re playing now.”

Three days later the Trojans were back on the field for the state Class S tournament. Ranked 15, they dominated 18-ranked Rocky Hill 16-4 in the qualifying round at home.

Never trailing, the Trojans shut out the competition in the first quarter with a 7-0 lead. They stretched it to 12-0 by halftime.

It was not until the third quarter that Rocky Hill broke through, scoring its first two goals. By then the Trojans made frequent substitutions and still had a 15-2 lead after three quarters.

Miller led Weston with four goals. Flynn had two (one assist.

Austin Drimal (two assists) and Micah Zirn scored two each. Fumai (four assists), Page (two assists), Oliver Parker (one assist), Alex Crowell and Peter Lummis (one assist) all scored one.

Limone and Adam Byer shared time in goal, making four and two saves respectively.

Should Weston win its first-round game it will play the winner of the East Catholic-Lewis Mills game on Saturday away at 3 p.m.

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