Fairfield Prep loses to Ridgefield in Division L boys lacrosse final
This was a classic, the kind of game that Ridgefield junior Sean Wilkinson didn't think ends with the ball in his lacrosse stick with 14.5 seconds left.
The speedy little hockey standout-turned-lacrosse player -- height and weight "not enough and not enough, in the eyes of other people," his coach said -- was looking to dish off to one of the senior shooters for the last shot.
"To be honest, instinct kind of took over," Wilkinson said. "That kind of moment, you can't really plan. In the moment, something else was controlling me, and by the grace of God, the ball went in the net."
That completed a comeback for the sixth-seeded Tigers (18-5) from an early five-goal deficit, winning their second state title and their first since the 2001 Division II championship.
"He's the first guy on my list" to have the ball in that spot, Ridgefield coach Roy Colsey said of Wilkinson. "He's an unselfish kid. Generally speaking, he's looking to dish. I'm glad he didn't. He had the wherewithal to rip it."
The fourth-seeded Jesuits finished 18-5 with a lot of young players in key roles. Only one of their goals Saturday was scored by a senior.
"This was a great high school lacrosse game," Jesuits coach Chris Smalkais said. "It's unfortunate someone had to lose."
The Jesuits dominated the first quarter, start to finish, scoring 1:36 in and building a 6-1 lead. Connor Kelly had the first two of his five goals in the first.
"We definitely came out with some nervous sticks. We weren't picking up some ground balls," said Ridgefield senior defender Griffin McCarty, who had a few takeaways in big spots. "I knew we were going to come back from that."
A minute and a half into the second, Fairfield Prep junior goalie Mike Seelye made two huge saves, on Sean Riley and then on Wilkinson's point-blank rebound. He took Riley's shot off the chest, though, and had to leave the game. He was taken to Norwalk Hospital late in the game.
"He was spitting up some blood," Smalkais said. "I thought Ryan Orvis played great. He made some huge saves. He cleared the ball great.
"Mike has been playing so well in the playoffs, he's established himself as a leader. ... (Players) see one of their teammates injured, they see blood, it scares you."
Ridgefield knocked the lead back to 6-5 by halftime. The Jesuits built it back to 8-5 and 9-6, but the Tigers kept coming.
"We allowed them to stay around and get in the game to where it became a one-possession game," Smalkais said. " (But) I'm really proud of this group."