NEW CANAAN — It’s been four years since Greenwich has beaten New Canaan on a boys lacrosse field.
Thursday night at Dunning Field, the Rams made sure that trend continued.
New Canaan scored the game’s first five goals and delivered an impressive performance in all facets while posting a 12-4 victory over Greenwich.
While the Rams were focused on the Cardinals, there was an added motivation for their Senior Night celebration.
“Our goal here was to try and get all the seniors in today,” New Canaan senior co-captain Carl Mazabras said. “Seeing guys like Myles (Baliotti), Tim Walsh and all the seniors get in the game was fantastic. The offense had a great game and the defense played a great game and everyone was playing to try and get all the seniors into the game.”
The win kept the Rams perfect in FCIAC play, as they improved to 6-0 in conference and 6-4 overall.
New Canaan had a five-goal performance from junior Liam Griffiths, with senior co-captain Quintin O’Connell adding a hat trick and one assist. Of the Rams’ 12 goals, eight came with assists, as they did well possessing and distributing the ball.
“That was one of our better offensive performances as a cohesive unit,” O’Connell said. “The best part about it is after every goal there’s about six hats celebrating. A lot of guys could’ve shot, but they made one more pass and another guy got on the scoresheet. That shows a lot of character in our team.”
One of the keys to the attack was at the faceoff X, as New Canaan junior Justin Wietfeldt and senior Tim Norton went 17-for-20 — an 85% clip.
“That helps the offense,” O’Connell said. “You win games when you have the ball more. When you have three or four guys who can dominate at the X it makes our job a lot easier. We have to say thank you to them every time.”
Greenwich dropped below the .500 mark at 4-5 overall and 3-4 in the FCIAC. The Cardinals had beaten Wilton 7-6 in overtime on April 6, but have since lost five of six games.
“Faceoffs and possession is something we’ve been working on non-stop but we only won three today,” Greenwich head coach Bobby Lutz said. “With any top team like New Canaan, when you give them all these extra possessions, they’re going to out points on the board.”
Senior Jack Feda was the only Cardinal to crack through offensively, as he scored all four Greenwich goals. Three of those came with assists from senior Lance Large and the other was assisted by senior Nate Allen.
Defensively for New Canaan, Mazabras (14 saves) was joined by long poles George Dumbauld, Jackson Braden, Jack Finnigan and Braden Sweeney in slowing the Cards’ attack.
“The defense played very well,” Mazabras said. “That’s a very high-caliber offense and they’re very, very well put together; and (Feda) had a great game. The defense played well, we played together, and we played to get all the seniors in.
Greenwich used two goals, with Padraig Colligan (8 saves) and Teddy Bacon (12 saves) each playing a half.
New Canaan scored the game’s first goal when senior Will Rechtermann set up O’Connell at 3:26 of the first quarter. Teddy Manges then scored unassisted, scooping up a rebound after a nice save by Padraig.
O’Connell netted his second goal to make it 3-0 with 1:01 remaining in the first quarter.
New Canaan pushed the advantage to 7-2 by halftime and then blanked the Cardinals in the third quarter for a 10-2 lead heading to the fourth.
While the Rams headed back to work with a win, Greenwich is still trying to break it’s slide.
“The only thing we can do is work hard,” Lutz said. “These guys are a great group and they’re sticking together. The morale is high, they’re having fun and they’re enjoying the experience, we just want to get the wins with it. That’s how you measure success. They haven’t lost any faith in each other or faith in the team so we’ll just continue to work hard and see what happens.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Carl Mazabras, New Canaan. The senior co-captain and goalie collected 14 saves, including several at point-blank range, to lead a strong defensive effort for the Rams.
“We’ve been incredibly blessed to grown up in a town where the lacrosse program is developed and nurtured at such a young age., We’ve been given a gift with such strong coaches at the high school level and the youth level. To walk across this field, it gives you chills because you’re not just representing your senior class and your team, you’re representing your whole town.” — New Canaan senior co-captain Quintin O’Connell