CHESHIRE>> The St. Joseph boys lacrosse team is back in the Class S final.
And, this year, the Cadets say they are better prepared.
“It was tough last year,” St. Joseph coach Joe Izzo said. “We lost a heart-breaker to Weston and basically the kids worked hard to get back there.”
The No. 8 Cadets will have another chance as they beat No. 5 Northwest Catholic 12-6 in the semi-finals on Wednesday at the Maclary Complex at Cheshire High School.
St. Joseph moves on to the Class S championship game vs. No. 7 Brookfield, an 11-6 winner over East Catholic, on Saturday at McMahon High School in Norwalk at 11 a.m.
“This is the same group,” Izzo said. “They were all sophomores and juniors last year. This year it’s a mostly junior group.”
These players have a few years in the St. Joseph system and it showed after they solved the zone defense of Northwest Catholic in the second half and put on a goal-scoring clinic.
Ryan Corcoran scored two goals within 28 seconds of each other early in the third quarter to give St. Joseph a 5-2 lead and create some separation after the Indians goalie, David Kalamarides put together a strong first half.
“He played his best game in the first half,” Northwest Catholic coach Peter Vlahakis said.
Kalamarides made 10 saves in the first half and then just six in the second.
Josiah Wilson of St. Joseph completed a hat trick with 8:17 left in the third quarter and added one more with just 40 seconds left to cap a five goal third quarter for the Cadets.
“We put a system in place to attack that zone,” Izzo said. “The guys did a good job of settling in and doing it.”
“Ryan [Corcoran] and [Josiah Wilson] are smart guys on the field and then they have a good supporting cast around them,” Izzo said.
The goals kept coming from St. Joseph in the fourth, even after Chris McLaughlin of Northwest Catholic put in the first of the quarter.
“They have such balance,” Vlahakis said. “It’s hard to cover a team that has six good guys on offense.”
Chris Klabonski, Mike Sudora and Peter Bashar scored single goals in the fourth for St. Joseph before Corcoran got his fourth of the game with 5:25 left on the clock.