TRUMBULL >> It took just seven seconds for St. Joseph’s to remind Valley Regional that this lacrosse game was being played in Fairfield County.
Yup, that’s how long it took for Cadets senior Flippo Petrini to win the face-off, race towards the net and rifle a shot past Warriors goalkeeper Spencer Russo.
Cadets senior Ryan Corcoran scored the first of his game-high four goals less than a minute later and it was clear that no matter how hard or well Valley Regional competed in this Class S state tournament opener, the math just wasn’t going to be on their side at the end of the day.
Josiah Wilson and Mike Sudora added three goals apiece, while junior goalkeeper Mike Braddick made four saves as No. 8 St. Joseph eliminated the No. 9 Warriors, 16-2, Wednesday afternoon at Trumbull.
The Cadets (12-5) will play at No. 1 Lewis Mills (17-0) in the quarterfinals on Saturday.
Three of St. Joseph’s five losses came against Darien, Greenwich and New Canaan. The Cadets defeated Morgan, 19-5, late in the season, while the Warriors split a pair of games with the Huskies.
“This is a good experience for a team on the Shoreline to come down here and play a Fairfield County team,” said Valley Regional coach Paul Ferrucci. “This is a program where you’ve got three teams, a freshman, jayvee and a varsity team, and we have 36 total players. So this is a good building experience for a team like ours.”
St. Joseph, Class S finalists a year ago, led 4-0 after one period. The Cadets added four more scores in the second period before Corcoran netted a pair of goals with less than a minute to play, giving the Cadets a 10-0 halftime advantage.
“We just got out pretty quick today,” said St. Joseph coach Joe Izzo. “Braddick made a couple of really nice saves early on and that gave us the ball back and we were just able to settle in and actually run the stuff we wanted to run. We were able to have the ball a lot today, which was nice.”
The Cadets outshot the Warriors, 39-13.
“What we told the guys today was that you’ve got to be ready to play your best lacrosse and minimize the mistakes and we did a good job of that in the first half,” said Ferrucci.
The Cadets depth, however, proved to be too much for the Warriors (11-6) in the second half.
Russo, a junior, finished with 11 saves.
“Our goalie had one of his best games,” Ferrucci added.
The Warriors other highlight came late in the fourth period when junior Ben Ferrucci, the coach’s son, spoiled the Cadets’ shut out bid with a pair of spectacular goals.
Ferrucci, the Warriors leading scorer, rushed the net and rifled a behind-the-back shot past Braddick with 7:20 left to play.
Then, with less than three minutes to go, Ferrucci had possession of the ball to the left of the net and, while being harassed by three defenders, blasted a shot into the net from an impossible angle.
“Coach Ferrucci does a nice job,” said Izzo. “He’s got a lot of good players on that team and he does a good job putting those guys together. They’re a relatively young program too. He’s going to do a great job there. You can see it.”