Greenwich boys lacrosse halts Prep’s comeback, advances to semis

Greenwich High School's Decker Curran, left, gets a little help from Luke Finneran during Saturday's class L quarterfinal game against Fairfield Prep. — Avery Belicka photo

Greenwich High School’s Decker Curran, left, gets a little help from Luke Finneran during Saturday’s class L quarterfinal game against Fairfield Prep. — Avery Belicka photo

Although the Fairfield Prep lacrosse team was scoring fast and furious in the final quarter, Greenwich High School stopped the Jesuits in the final minute and came away with the 9-8 victory Saturday afternoon at Cardinal Stadium.

“This is very exciting,” Greenwich High School head coach Scott Bulkley said. “It’s the first time I have been able to take this team to the semifinals. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy today, but also didn’t think it was going to be that close at the end. We played a great three-and-a-half quarter and Prep is a good team. They are going to battle you.”

Greenwich was led by Luke Finneran, who finished with four goals and one assist.

“I missed a couple that I should have scored on, but I am happy with how I played,” Finneran said. “I thought overall the team played really well. We had a couple of lapses in the fourth quarter, but I think we still played strong. We are happy to get a win and are looking forward to playing in the semifinals.”

In addition to Finneran’s four goals, Will Perry finished with two goals and two assists while Decker Curran and Bobby Goggin each finished with one goal and one assist. James Tooher added a goal.

For the Jesuits, Teddy Long led the way by netting a hat trick. Austin Sims added two goals, while Burke Smith added a goal and an assist.

Greenwich High School looks to work the ball around the Fairfield Prep net during Saturday's game. — Avery Belicka photo

Greenwich High School looks to work the ball around the Fairfield Prep net during Saturday’s game. — Avery Belicka photo

After Fairfield Prep scored the first two goals of the game, Big Red exploded for eight unanswered goals. With 7:15 left in the first quarter, Will Perry got the ball after a nice play by the GHS defense and found the back of the net.

Tooher got on the board five minutes later when he got the open net shot after beating the Prep goalie off a quick dish in the front of the net by Sam Saleeby.

With the score tied 2-2 at the end of the first, Curran gave Big Red the lead for good when he fired a 15-yard shot that went high and found the top left of the net with 10:48. From there it was all Finneran as he scored the final two goals of the half to make the score 5-2.

Greenwich kept the pressure on Fairfield Prep to start the second half, as Finneran picked up the natural hat trick when he scored 58 seconds into the third quarter. Finneran wasn’t done, as he made a nice fake on the shot, darted in at point blank range and scored with 8:39 left in third.

“This feels great right now,” Finneran said. “Last year we got to the quarterfinals, but lost to Staples. It feels really good to beat Prep, but we can’t celebrate too much. We got hard opponents coming up.”

Will Perry ended the scoring streak when the Cardinals patiently worked the ball around the net and Perry buried the shot in the back of the net with 7:52 left in the third to make the score 8-2.

“The Prep goalie kept this game a lot closer than it probably should have been,” Bulkley said. “He played really great. He’s a sophomore and making unbelievable saves all game. Our team played really good to get that early lead. The offense was clicking, the defense was strong and we moved the ball. When you’re not selfish, get high percentage shots and finish them, you’re a dangerous team.”

After both teams exchanged goals to end the third quarter, the Jesuits were able to capitalize on faceoff victories and turnovers on the Cardinals.

In fact, Big Red was trailing 9-8 with 1:08 to play in the game and Fairfield Prep had several shots at net. But GHS goalie Tommy Rogan stood tall in the final minutes. He finished with 17 saves on the game but was calm and cool under pressure in the waning moments of the quarters.

“It was a wild fourth quarter,” Rogan said. “Our offense was close to burying some of those shots in the end and the defense got a little sloppy at the end, but we still got the victory. We knew leading up to this game that we needed to come out fast, put some in quickly and get up on top. Once we do that, we keep on going but we kind of didn’t in the fourth quarter.”

With the victory, Greenwich advances to the class L semifinals, where they will play familiar foe Ridgefield High School Wednesday night at 7:15 p.m.

The two previous games couldn’t be any closer, as both went to overtime. In the regular season, Big Red came away with the 8-7 double-overtime victory. Again, it was an overtime victory in the FCIAC semifinals that propelled the Cardinals to the FCIAC title game.

“It felt good to beat Fairfield Prep,” Bulkley said. “They have ended our season a couple of times. One of the things that we wanted to do was get on the other side of that. We wanted to end their season. I expect a hard game in the state semis. I think, no matter who we play, the teams are really good.”

By participating in the comments section of this site you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and User Agreement

© Hersam Acorn. All rights reserved. The Greenwich Post, 10 Corbin Drive, Floor 3, Darien, CT 06820

Designed by WPSHOWER

Powered by WordPress