1. Can anyone beat CIAC Class M No. 1 seed Darien?
Plot line: Last season, the Blue Wave lost in the FCIAC tournament semifinals and the Class M quarterfinals and those losses have put the Blue Wave on a mission to make amends for those losses this season. Depth, talent and a complete team effort have led the Blue Wave to an 18-0 record. They advanced to the FCIAC tournament final against Greenwich today (Friday) at 7 p.m.
You should know: One team that has pushed Darien to the limit in 2014 is New Canaan. Darien beat New Canaan in the regular season 11-10 in overtime and 12-11 in overtime in the FCIAC semifinals.
2. No. 10 seed Fairfield Prep gears up for third straight Class L title
Plot line: The Jesuits have the talent to beat any team in the Class L tournament and are coming off an 8-5 win over Guilford in the SCC tournament championship game. But they need to overcome the sluggish starts they had in the SCC tournament with identical 2-2 scores after the first quarter in both games against Amity in the semis and Guilford in the final. Prep will likely face Greenwich in the quarterfinals and if the Jesuits move on should face Ridgefield in the semifinals. These are talented FCIAC teams that can take advantage of slow starts by Prep.
You should know: Only state team that has beaten Prep this season is New Canaan, which is in the Class M tournament.
3. SCC teams will make postseason interesting
Plot line: In addition to Prep, SCC teams Amity and Xavier in Class L and Foran, Guilford, Hand, North Haven and Notre Dame-West Haven in Class M are all improved and have solid coaching to make a decent run in their respective tournaments. Each team has its strength and talent including multi-sport athletes.
You should know: North Haven has been the only SCC team besides Prep to be ranked in the Register/GameTimeCT Top 10 poll this season and the Indians have been ninth or 10th most of the season.
4. FCIAC has scary-good talent
Plot line: In addition to Darien, other FCIAC teams that will be tough to beat are Greenwich, Ridgefield and Staples in Class L, New Canaan in Class M and St. Joseph in Class S. Playing in the FCIAC these teams have a built-in strength of schedule that always prepares them for the postseason. They also have elite talent with each team boasting multiple players with early commitments to play lacrosse in college.
You should know: In the last 11 years at least one FCIAC team has won a CIAC state title each season.
5. Class S wide open
Plot line: While defending Class S champion Weston has one of the best goalies in the state with Grant Limone, the Trojans have struggled at times scoring goals against quality competition. This opens the door for several teams to win the title like St. Joseph, a seasoned Class S team appearing the Class S final four of the last five seasons. Northern teams Granby and Somers and talented Shoreline Conference teams Old Lyme, Valley Regional and Morgan have a chance to advance to the final.
You should know: The only Class S team to go unbeaten in the regular season this season is top seed Lewis Mills (16-0), a team that has never advanced as far as the state championship game.