The Weston boys lacrosse team took over of sole possession of first place in the SWC on Wednesday night with a hard-fought 7-6 home win over New Fairfield 7-6. The Trojans upped their overall record to 12-1, 9-0 in the SWC. The Rebels, who had won the previous four contests with Weston including last year's SWC semifinal game, dropped to 10-2, 8-1. In a game that saw numerous lead changes, the Trojans stepped it up whenever they needed to stymie the hard charging and talented Rebel squad.
Weston Coach John Mathews summarized his team's opportunity before play even started. "It's always a battle with New Fairfield. We must know our match-ups and pick up our play all over the field. Our defense leads the way for us and we have to limit the opponent's opportunities."
With freshman lefty sensation Sean Fumai out with a torn meniscus and New Fairfield keying on captains Robbie Cordisco and Morgan Faller, the Trojans knew they'd have to get extra effort from the rest of the team to beat the Rebels.
Extra effort is just what they got from junior goalie Alex Peyreigne (13 saves), Mathews said, "Alex played his best game so far this season." Throughout a game played in cold wintry weather, Peyreigne made numerous point-blank saves that frustrated the high octane Rebel attackers. In fact, with just 58 seconds left, Peyreigne shut down a Rebel charge with a fantastic save after a turnover that sealed Weston's victory.
Peyreigne said, "I was just playing goalie out there. Our plan was to `slide early, slide often' and we did it."
On the offensive side, sophomore Lyle Mitchell scored the winning goal with about 7:30 left. Mitchell and senior captain Morgan Faller each two goals and one assist on the night. Senior captain Robbie Cordisco seemed to be everywhere on the field, leading the Trojan offense and taking Rebel defenders with him.
At 3:20 of the first quarter, Cordisco put the Trojans up 3-2 on a beautiful breakaway score that caught New Fairfield flat-footed. Sophomore Jack Scheufele clearly stepped up his game as Matthews asked them to do with two goals.
On the defensive side, senior Tucker Drimal played a huge game according to Matthews. The speedy Drimal seemed to everywhere on the field during this game. First he'd shut down a Rebel attack with a block or a take-away and then lead the team down the field to set up the offense or feed a teammate for a score.
Drimal said, "We tried to stay focused and keep the pressure on them." Partnering with Drimal was senior captain defenseman Will Miller. The lanky Miller was an imposing force in front of goalie Peyreigne and continually shut the door on New Fairfield.
Mathews said, "We've now had four one-goal wins this season which is great for our confidence and experience. We need to keep growing every game and balancing out the effort across the whole team. I'm really proud of these guys tonight.
Weston has two conference games left; Barlow on Monday and Bethel on Wednesday. If the Trojans win both games, they will go into SWC tournament play as the top-seed. The Trojans are playing smart, balanced lacrosse right now so their prospects are looking very good for that to occur.