Trojans pay back St. Joe's
In an instant, the game was on Bobby Ciotti's stick. In the next instant, it was on Alex Peyreigne's.
Peyreigne, Weston's goalie, denied Ciotti's last-second shot from the front of the cage to preserve a 7-6 lead over St. Joseph. A time out and a clear later, Weston won the Division S boys lacrosse championship.
"It feels amazing," said Peyreigne, a junior. "We went two (years) without, and now we've got one."
The Trojans, who finished 20-3, lost to the Cadets in last year's final. They also lost in the final in 2008 after winning in 2007.
"All I could think about was last year," Weston attackman Morgan Faller said.
Peyreigne made 10 saves, helping Weston withstand an early 3-0 deficit.
"He's been the backbone of the defense for our team all year long," said first-year Weston coach John Mathews, who was an assistant coach at Fairfield Prep for its four consecutive state titles. "I'm so confident with him in net."
St. Joseph finished 15-7.
"We made a few mistakes, which is uncharacteristic," Cadets coach Joe Izzo said. "Maybe it was jitters more than anything. ... The kids played hard to the end."
Faller's second goal, 3:06 into the fourth quarter, made it 7-4. The Marist-bound senior took Lyle Mitchell's pass at the front of the net.
"It was big to get that three-goal lead back," said Faller, who Mathews said was playing on a cracked heel. "A two-goal lead is one goal away from a one-goal lead again. ... You always want at least a three-goal lead, so it was good to come away with that."
Weston gave up five more shots but nothing more past Peyreigne. The Cadets spent the last two minutes deep in the Weston end, seeking a way to the front of the net.
"That zone, I tell you, it puts a damper on an offense," Izzo said. "They pack it in, and they don't let you push through."
Weston scored twice late in the first quarter, then pounded out four in the second quarter, outshooting the Cadets 8-2.
The last two, Charlie Smith's second and a goal for Mitchell, came in the last 99 seconds of the half and made it 6-3.
"Give credit to St. Joe's," Mathews said. "They came out and scored a few goals early. I called time out to settle it down. We've been down before. It's a matter of collecting ourselves and taking a deep breath."
St. Joseph got one back in the third, and goalie Tim Izzo made four of his nine saves, but that second quarter proved too much to overcome.