GREENWICH—Growing up, Connor Santry had one goal when it came to his lacrosse career.
He wanted to play for the Greenwich Cardinals.
On Tuesday night at rain-soaked and—for a few minutes—snow blown Staples High, Santry backstopped the Cardinals to the biggest win of his career, a 9-6 decision over the host Wreckers.
“I always wanted to play for the Greenwich Cardinals,” said Santry, who spent one year at a prep school in Massachusetts before returning to GHS. “This is my first year starting and it’s been my dream since I was a little kid. It really feels good.”
Santry made 17 saves to lead a strong defensive effort by the Cardinals, who gave up just three goals in the first three quarters.
“We did a really good job riding them and limiting their possessions,” Santry said. “When they had the ball 6-on-6 we slid and recovered and did a really nice job today.”
Matt Baugher scored three goals and assisted on another for Greenwich, which improved to 4-3 with its third straight win. Jack Feda and Leo Johnson added two goals each while Lance Large and Matt Davey potted single goals. Charlie Graves had three assists.
“I think we’re still developing chemistry, but today things were clicking,” said Greenwich coach Bobby Lutz. “Anytime you play like that, it’s hard for the defense to adjust. Today, we were hitting spots, which you have to do against a good goalie and (Staples goalie Matt Garber) is one of the best in the league. We were hitting our spots.”
For the Wreckers, who fell for the first time in eight games, Matt Bigood scored twice. Patrick Ciquera, Nico Rossi, Dobson Cooper and Harris Levi netted singles goal.
Garber made 15 saves for Staples.
“Greenwich played great,” Staples coach Paul McNulty said. “We tried to take away their star players, but their best players, I think, had six of their nine goals and that was the difference.”
THE ANSWER MAN
The Wreckers might have struck first in the game, but they trailed 3-1 after the first quarter and 7-3 at the halftime break.
Staples tried to claw their way back in the game and with less than a minute to play in the third ping a shot off the pipe.
The Cardinals corralled the rebound and on the far end of the field Baugher buried a shot with 25 seconds left to make it an 8-3 game.
The Wreckers finally got some momentum going as Ciquera and Bigood tallied goals to make it 8-5.
With just seconds left on a 30-second man-up opportunity, though, Baugher scored another shot to stop the Wreckers in their track.
“You just have to be in the right spot and feel the game,” Baugher said. “This has become such a great rivalry. It’s a lot of fun out there.”
APRIL IN NEW ENGLAND
The game started in the cold, continued in the driving rain and, for a few minutes of the third quarter, even continued through a driving snow squall.
Both sides played on, though, undeterred.
“The boys were screaming at me telling me they couldn’t hear what I was saying, but I couldn’t see anything anyways,” Lutz said. “It was interesting, especially since it’s April. It’s a good memory for the kids.”
McNulty has been around a little longer than Lux and twice remembers snow becoming a factor.
The first came when McNulty was coaching Wilton and his team played at Daniel Hand in some snow.
The second time, his team was hosting a team from Aspen, Colo. – a team coached by Bryant University coach Mike Pressler’s brother, and McNulty remembered the snow coming down sideways.
“I’m sure the kids from Colorado were used to it,” he said.
GREENWICH 9, STAPLES 6
GREENWICH 3 4 1 1—9
STAPLES 1 2 1 2—6
Records: Greenwich 4-3, Staples 7-1; Scoring: G—Matt Baugher 3, Jack Feda 2, Leo Johnson 2, Lance Large, Matt Davey; S—Matt Bigood 2, Nico Rossi, Dobson Cooper, Harris Levi, Patrick Ciquera; Assists: G—Charlie Graves 3, Baugher, Johnson, S—Evan Zinn, Levi. Goalies: G—Connor Santry (17 saves), Luke blaine (1 save); S—Matt Garber (15 saves).