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Greenwich boys win 1st state lacrosse title

Published 11:28 pm, Saturday, June 14, 2014

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  • The Greenwich High School boys lacrosse team raises the Class L State Championship trophy above their heads at the conslusion of their match against Staples High School who they defeated 13-10 at Brien McMahon High School in Norwalk, Saturday, June 14, 2014. Photo: Bob Luckey / Greenwich Time
    The Greenwich High School boys lacrosse team raises the Class L State Championship trophy above their heads at the conslusion of their match against Staples High School who they defeated 13-10 at Brien McMahon High School in Norwalk, Saturday, June 14, 2014. Photo: Bob Luckey

 

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NORWALK -- The anticipation and excitement grew for Greenwich High School as each second passed during the last minute of Saturday's Class L Tournament final against Staples and when time expired, the Cardinals' long-awaited celebration began.

Sticks and helmets were tossed in the air and a sea of white jerseys surrounded goalie Tommy Rogan shortly after the buzzer sounded, ending 48 minutes of action the Cardinals won't forget.

This year's Greenwich team will be remembered as the first squad in school history to win the state boys lacrosse title -- an accomplishment it attained with a 13-10 victory over Staples in the Class L finals at Brien McMahon High School. Senior attack Luke Finneran capped his senior season for the second-seeded Cardinals with four goals and three assists, senior Jamie Paradise tallied two goals and three assists and sophomore Will Perry recorded a hat trick.

"This was a great win for our team, I couldn't be happier for my seniors," GHS coach Scott Bulkley said. "They have been with me from the beginning to where we are now. I'm so happy for them and I'm so proud of them for all the hard work they did to get to this point."

The Cardinals (20-3) jumped out to a 4-0 lead, but the Wreckers (15-6) closed to within 6-4 at halftime. Greenwich opened an 11-6 fourth-quarter advantage, but again, Staples made it interesting, cutting the deficit to 12-10 with 5:38 remaining.

The Wreckers, who defeated the Cards in last season's Class L Tournament quarterfinals, received two goals and one assist from senior midfielder Patrick Lesch and two goals from senior midfielder Will Johnson. Staples also entered Saturday's matchup seeking its first state championship.

"We kept battling, which is what we asked them to do and our guys kept fighting to the very end," Staples coach Paul McNulty, whose squad lost to Fairfield Prep in last season's state final. "Our boys did not give up and like the Amity game, we came back. That's what we have been doing all year."

Junior Michael Sullivan won the game's opening faceoff for Greenwich and the Cards tallied on their first possession. Paradise fed attack Bobby Goggin from behind and the sophomore put a short shot past Wreckers goalie Cole Gendels, giving GHS a 1-0 lead 1:56 into the first quarter. In a man-up situation, the Cardinals took a 2-0 advantage, as senior midfielder Ryan Flippin converted a shot from 15 yards out at the 9:19 mark. Back-to-back goals from Paradise off passes from Finneran, put Greenwich on top, 4-0 late in the first quarter.

"We went up four goals, which really set the tone for us," Flippin said. "Our goal was to get up on them early. We knew if we executed our offense we would not give up the lead."

Said McNulty: "The first quarter they came out a little bit faster than us. They had the advantage in the beginning, but our guys corrected that and hung in there."

Staples seized the momentum at the start of the second quarter, tallying three straight goals. Senior midfielder Pete Blevins put a low shot by Rogan, Johnson tallied in transition and junior Tucker Bobrow scored on a catch-and-shoot, making it 4-3. Junior attackman Decker Curran scored off a feed from Flippin, then Finneran tallied, giving Greenwich a 6-3 edge. Sullivan, meanwhile, performed well at the faceoff X, winning 13 faceoffs.

david.fierro@scni.com; 203-625-4423

Class L boys lacrosse final

STAPLES 0 3 3 4 -- 10

GREENWICH 4 2 3 4 -- 13

Records: Greenwich 20-3; Staples 15-6.

Scoring: S -- Patrick Lesch (2 g, 1 a); Will Johnson (2 g); Mike Reale (1 g, 1 a); Pete Blevins (1 g); Josh Willis (1 g); Isaac Paparo (1 g); Eric Zurmuehle (1 g); Tucker Bobrow (1 g). G -- Jamie Paradise (2 g, 3 a); Luke Finneran (4 g, 3 a); Will Perry (3 g, 1 a); Decker Curran (1 g, 2 a); Jack Nail (1 g); Bobby Goggin (1 g); Ryan Flippin (1 g, 1 a). Goalies: S -- Cole Gendels (8 saves); G -- Tommy Rogan (10 saves).