RIDGEFIELD — Roy Colsey’s postgame speech was evidence of the lofty standards expected from members of the Ridgefield boys lacrosse program.
With his players circled around him, Colsey bemoaned the lack of urgency he had just finished witnessing.
“You can’t come out and play like that and expect to win a state title,” Colsey said. “On most days, that would have been a losing effort.”
On this day, though, it was still enough for a 16-4 victory over Trumbull in the first round of the Class L state tournament.
Although the final score suggested a blowout, Colsey’s critique wasn’t misplaced: Ridgefield, the top seed and reigning state champion, played with an uncustomary mix of sluggishness and sloppiness.
“We got through that one because we won a lot of faceoffs,” Colsey said. “Jake Lynne did a great job on faceoffs … that was the key. But we won’t win another game playing like that. We just won’t.”
Some of Ridgefield’s offensive struggles — missed shots, lackluster ball movement, failure to string together passes — were due to the absence of attackmen Noah Gels and Weston Carpenter, and midfielder James Isaacson, all out with injuries.
“Those are three big pieces to be missing,” Colsey said. “We had a bunch of younger guys out there and some of them were playing more than they usually do. But I need more out of my juniors; if the seniors (Gels, Carpenter, and Isaacson) are going to be out I really need those juniors to be on their game and rise to the occasion and bring some urgency and leadership.”
All that said, the Tigers were never seriously in danger of losing to 16th-seed Trumbull, which couldn’t match its host’s skill and depth.
The closest the Eagles came to worrying Ridgefield was early in the second quarter. Reese Remelka and Zach Walsh scored back-to-back goals in just over two minutes to bring Trumbull within 5-3.
Goalie Josh Vaughn then made several of his 13 saves to keep the Tigers scoreless for more than five minutes. But Trevor Soli’s goal off a left-handed snap shot ended Ridgefield’s drought, and Ray Dearth and Ryan Colsey followed with goals to push the lead to 8-3 at halftime.
Lynne’s face-off control and the defensive play of Connor Riebling, Jack Dowd, Kai Prohaska, and Kees van Wees limited Trumbull to one second-half goal — scored by Vaughn, the Eagles’ goalie, following an unimpeded run down the field midway through the third period.
Ridgefield got that goal back when Owen Gaydos scored to put the Tigers ahead 10-4 through three quarters. The Tigers then scored all six goals in the final period to close out the win and end Trumbull’s season.
“It was just an average effort … show up and go through the motions. It just seems to be a lack of enthusiasm and excitement about competing. We didn’t really compete. That’s where my frustration is from.” — Ridgefield coach Roy Colsey