With a player like Aiden O’Donnell anchoring its defense, Xavier expected the back end to be a strength.
There were question marks in some other places, but the Falcons have rattled off six wins in a row, with a handful of impressive victories in there, since a season-opening defeat.
“Our defense has been a constant for us,” Basile said. ‘We knew that coming into the year.
“(O’Donnell) is probably one of the best poles I’ve ever had.”
O’Donnell is headed to Marquette next year. Sam Norris, another senior, returned as well, and though classmate Patrick Sullivan has only been back from a soccer-season torn ACL in the past couple of weeks, junior Nick Theilgard filled in well.
The goal was one of those questions entering the season, Basile said, but senior Grant Barber has stepped up.
The offense is jelling, scoring 12 goals a game. It helps that junior Cam Bartolomeo, back after missing most of last season, has been strong on faceoffs.
All those facets add up to a 6-1 record. The Falcons lost 7-4 at Fairfield Ludlowe to start, but the victories since then include a 13-10 win over Simsbury, 14-7 over Notre Dame-West Haven, 10-5 over Hand and Monday’s 12-6 victory against Hall.
The biggest test comes Wednesday. No. 3 Fairfield Prep visits Larry McHugh Field at 4:30 p.m.
“We’ve played some good teams, but no one along Prep’s level,” Basile said. “Prep’s legit. In my 15 years as head coach at Xavier, I’d say this is probably one of the most talented teams they’ve had, and that’s saying something.
“It’ll be a tough test for us. They’re clearly a level above. We’ve got to scrap hard, try to win the ground-ball battle.”
Congratulations to Tucker Garrity who just became the all time career assist leader for Newtown High School. He now sits on top with 134 career assists. Great job Tucker. Go Hawks!
— Newtown Hawks Lax (@newtown_lax) April 19, 2019
It was a milestone kind of week, with at least three players reaching or nearing major marks.
Newtown’s Tucker Garrity Garrity became the Nighthawks’ all-time leader in assists in Thursday’s 18-1 win over Pomperaug. He passed Lewis Thompson, who racked up 133 assists through 2011.
On Saturday, Shelton’s Nick Pavone scored his 100th career goal in a 15-8 win over Masuk, not long after reaching 100 assists. Pavone took a school-record 101 goals and 209 points into Tuesday’s game against Amity.
And Fairfield Ludlowe senior attackman Aidan Wykoff, bound for Gettysburg, has tied the school scoring record of 139 points. He could take sole possession Friday against Norwalk.
— Ludlowe Lacrosse (@flhslax) April 18, 2019
The record belongs to Nate Ryan, Class of 2011, who also holds school records in career goals (102), points in a season (64) and goals in a season (52). Wykoff goes into Friday with 96 career goals.
BREAKFAST ON THE ISLAND
ESPNU will air two lacrosse games from St. Anthony’s (N.Y.) this weekend, including Darien’s visit to the Friars, Sunday morning at 10.
Darien also plays Seton Hall Prep of New Jersey at St. Anthony’s, Saturday at noon, which ESPN3 will stream online. It’s part of the “Geico High School Lacrosse Showcase,” with three games each day.
Ward Melville (N.Y.) and Haverford (Pa.) will air on ESPNU Saturday morning at 10. Lincoln-Sudbury (Mass.) is the sixth team in the mix.