Third time’s a charm: Greenwich boys lax captures first state title

On Greenwich High School’s third attempt to bring the state championship hardware home to GHS, head coach Scott Bulkley and the Cardinals delivered earlier today at Brien McMahon’s Jack Casagrande Field.

The Greenwich High School boys lacrosse team celebrates the CIAC class L championship, beating Staples High School 13-10. — Paul Silverfarb photo

The Greenwich High School boys lacrosse team celebrates the CIAC class L championship, beating Staples High School 13-10. — Paul Silverfarb photo

Coming out quick from the start and never letting up, Big Red built an early lead against Staples High School in the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference class L championship game and never looked back, going on to the 13-10 victory that set off a wild celebration on the field.

“Wow,” said GHS senior Kyle Foote, who sustained an injury during the FCIAC championship game against Darien High School and was unable to play in the class L finals. “It’s the most incredible moment of my career to date. I’ve been here for four years and never have seen a group of guys bond like these guys have. They battled. We have out-of-control talent. The whole day was really special for me and to top it off with a championship is even better.”

With the victory, Bulkley brought home a championship to Greenwich High for the first time in school history. Back in 2007, Big Red competed in the class L championship game but fell to Fairfield Prep 10-9. Greenwich’s first appearance in the state title game was back in 1997, when they fell to Darien High School 14-8.

“I was so happy for my guys when time ran out,” Bulkley said. “I’ve been to the championship game before wit Darien and know what it feels like to win. I was so happy for the kids to get that same feeling that I had. They worked so hard all season. Most of these guys have been starters with me for three years. For them to be together for that long, it means the world to me to see them happy. Their hard work had paid off.”

For Greenwich, no one was better in the championship game than Luke Finneran, as the senior finished with four goals and three assists. Not to be outdone was sophomore Will Perry, who added the hat trick. Senior Jaime Paradise pitched in with two goals and three assists.

“This is an amazing feeling right now,” Paradise said. “It’s a little surreal. We’ve been saying all year that we wanted to make history at the school. We wanted to end the season on a high note and I think we accomplished that today. We ended the season in a pile, which is what we did.”

In addition to the Greenwich trio, Decker Curran added a goal and two assists, while Ryan Flippin finished with a goal and an assist. Bobby Goggin and Jack Nail rounded out the scoring for the Cards.

“We had an unbelievable state journey and beat a lot of great teams,” Flippin said. “We worked hard throughout the playoffs and the regular season. We were euphoric to win that last game. We are drilled our offense nonstop so that we are all on the same page. Our defense played hard and everybody wanted to win. We knew we could do it, but it was all about executing.”

Staples was led by Will Johnson, who each finished with a team-high three goals. Patrick Lesch added two goals.

In net, Greenwich High senior Tommy Rogan finished with 12 saves on the day, while his counterpart Cole Gendals grabbed seven saves for the Wrecker.

Greenwich finished its season with a 20-3 record, while Staples, which ended Big Red’s season last season, fell to 15-6 overall.

“It’s a totally different feeling right now,” GHS senior defender Jack Harrington said. “Greenwich and Staples is a great rivalry. When we found out that they were going to be on the other side of the bracket this year, we kind of predicted that they would be in the championship game. We knew we had to focus on beating Fairfield Prep and Ridgefield to get to this point and play Staples. We were looking for revenge this year against Staples and out guys executed.”

To read much more on the game, including a scoring recap and reactions from players and from Bulkley, check out Thursday’s Greenwich Post.

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