STAMFORD — The Warde boys lacrosse team is getting hot at exactly the right time.
The Mustangs closed out the regular season portion of their FCIAC schedule Tuesday by posting a 16-7 road triumph over Stamford High.
It was the fourth victory in the last five contests for Warde (8-5 overall, 5-5 FCIAC). The triumph should put the Mustangs squarely in the battle for the No. 6-No. 8 slots in the upcoming FCIAC playoffs.
“I feel good about where we are. Our five losses have all been to the top five teams (Staples, New Canaan, Ridgefield, Darien, Wilton) in the league,” Warde coach Tom Cunningham said. “We’re ready to compete. We wanted to get into the FCIAC playoffs.”
At 8-5 overall, the Mustangs are also currently ranked in the top 15 in Class L for the state playoffs. They can help themselves immensely if they can sweep their final three non-league clashes (Shelton, Immaculate, Stratford) to close out the regular season.
The Warde attack —which averaged 15 goals in its previous three wins —continued to sizzle Tuesday.
Junior Blake Epstein had six goals, junior Charlie DiGiacomo added three goals while sophomore Jack McKenna collected two goals and three assists.
Warde led 10-4 at halftime and 15-4 after three quarters.
“Our formations were working well,” Epstein said. “Beating rival Ludlowe (12-10 last Thursday) was a big win. And the emotions carried over to today. The offense just wants to keep it rolling.”
Warde dominated the possession time as senior Devin Napol won 90 percent of the faceoffs. He also contributed two goals and one assist on the afternoon.
“Devin (Napol) had a great day both on faceoffs and on offense,” Cunningham said. “He’s been doing it all year long. When we win the draw, our offense shows what it’s capable of. Our attack group is young. We have seniors (Will Pisani, Al Donahue, Cole Hessell) on defense. It’s a good mix.”
Warde goalies Chris Gonzalez (4 saves in 3 quarters), Finn Doyle (1 save, 4th quarter) were solid.
Fighting through the FCIAC playoff bracket is a hard task. But the Mustangs can do damage in the states unless all the FCIAC teams get lumped together in the opening two rounds.
“We have work to do. But we can win all three games left,” Epstein said. “A good finish will set us up well for states.”
CLOSING RUN FOR STAMFORD
Stamford (5-7, 2-7 FCIAC) did not have the ball enough to succeed.
Tom Connolly had three early goals for the Black Knights. Quran Langston, Cameron Cahoon, Dylan Friese and Ben Duquene also tallied.
Senior goalie Baylor Bridges had 10 saves over three quarters. Matt Buzzeo added three saves in the fourth period.
Stamford—which beat Westhill for the city boys lacrosse title—has home games left against Ludlowe, Trumbull and Hamden. SHS also travels to Notre Dame of Fairfield.