MIDDLETOWN >> This has been a season of streaks for the Xavier lacrosse team.
The Falcons opened with five consecutive wins and followed that with four losses in a row. But just as quickly, Xavier turned that around and won three in a row, the latest a 14-5 Southern Connecticut Conference romp over Branford at Larry McHugh Field Tuesday evening.
“After our start, we had a rough two weeks,” Xavier coach Scott Basile said. “We played four top five teams and vacation week was part of that, and that’s always tough. We also had key pieces missing in that we’ve had the mono bug. Glenn Cunningham missed the first six games, and four-year player Colin O’Donnell is just coming back now.
“But we’re putting the pieces together and we’re moving in the right direction.”
Xavier wasted no time in taking command against the Hornets. The Falcons took a 1-0 lead just three minutes into the game as Brett Reid scored on a pass from brother Austin. Two minutes later, Colin McCarthy scored an unassisted goal, and 73 seconds after that, Owen Gonzalez scored off a pass from Austin Reid.
“The Reids played very well today,” Basile said. “They feed off of each other.”
Brett Reid scored with 3.2 seconds left in the first quarter to give the Falcons a 4-0 lead after one.
Xavier built its lead to 6-1 at the half. After Branford scored on an unassisted goal by Brian Nichols with 9:46 left in the half, Tristan Slifer scored after taking a pass from Austin Reid. Then it was Brett’s turn as he scored with 9:12 left.
Brett Reid had three goals on the day and one assist, while Austin had two goals and four assists. They are juniors.
Xavier piled on in the third quarter, outscoring the Hornets 6-2. Evan Pesco had a goal in the quarter, Austin Reid had two and Slifer had three. Slifer finished with four goals. Brett Reid, Gonzalez and McCarthy each had an assist.
Webster Templeton had both of Branford’s third quarter scores. One was assisted by Bradley Valalik and the other was unassisted.
“I thought we played well overall,” Basile said. “We won the ground balls and we came out with good intensity, something we haven’t always done this season. We did the little things right tonight.”
The teams each scored twice in the fourth as Xavier (8-4) subbed early and often.
“I thought [Jameson] Kief and O’Donnell played very well,” Basile said. “O’Donnell played especially well on defense.”
The statistics confirmed Xavier’s dominance. The Falcons had a 31-14 edge in shots. Xavier keeper Alex Guzauckas had just two saves while his Branford counterpart, Zach DeGoursey, had nine.
Branford fell to 5-8.
Xavier will host Avon tonight in its annual Senior Night game. The festivities begin at 7 p.m. and the game will start at 7:30.