Fairfield Prep pounds Greenwich, 15-5, in lacrosse tourney
FAIRFIELD -- Rivals Fairfield Prep and Greenwich know what it's like to play each other in an elimination game, as Wednesday marked the third straight year the Jesuits and Cardinals met in the Division L lacrosse tournament.
And for the third consecutive year, the Jesuits sent the Cardinals home for the remainder of the postseason.
Seizing the momentum from the start and riding it throughout, fifth-seeded Fairfield Prep made it a long 48 minutes for 12th-seeded Greenwich. Senior midfielder Matt Brophy scored a game-high five goals and sophomore midfielder Austin Sims registered four goals and three assists to power Fairfield Prep to a convincing 15-5 victory over Greenwich in the opening round of the CIAC Class L tournament.
The Jesuits (16-3) advanced to Saturday's quarterfinals, where they will host No. 13 Staples. The Wreckers made it to the quarterfinal round by upending fourth-seeded Norwich Free Academy 11-4 on Wednesday.
The Cardinals, whose roster featured many underclassmen, finished their season at 9-9.
"We had two great days of team building practices on Sunday and Monday and had a good practice Tuesday and came out strong today," Jesuits coach Chris Smalkais said. "We are real excited to, hopefully, play three more high school lacrosse games."
The Jesuits, who edged the Cardinals 10-9 in the Class L quarterfinals last spring and beat GHS 9-7 in the quarters in 2010, jumped out to a 4-0 first-quarter lead.
Patiently running its settled offense, Prep lit the scoreboard 2:37 into the first half, as junior midfielder Sean Henry fed a cutting Brophy for the game's first goal. Henry scored off a pass from Sims, while juniors Kevin Brown and David White tallied off strong runs to the goal, putting the Jesuits ahead 4-0 at the 6:23 mark.
"It's crucial to get off to a good start like that," said Fairfield Prep longstick midfielder and co-captain Charles Keady, who helped spark the Jesuits' strong defensive effort. "Once you have the momentum swinging your way, it makes things a lot easier for your team."
Curran put Greenwich on the scoreboard with 5:58 to go in the second quarter, converting a pass from sophomore middie Kevin Davis. Using their size and experience to their experience, the Jesuits continued to increase their lead, scoring three unanswered goals to enter halftime with a commanding 7-1 edge.
Prep received another stellar performance from Mike Seelye in goal. The senior standout, who was under the weather the past few days, made 13 saves.
"I missed two days of practice because I was sick, but I'm fine now and the team seems to be playing better than they have all season," Seelye said. "Everyone played great today and our defense was outstanding. We're all in sync now and it feels great."
Goals from Brophy, junior Tim Edmonds, and Sims put the Cards in an 11-1 hole early in the third quarter. Moeser stopped the run with a goal off a pass from Will Gibian, but the Jesuits, who recently won the SCC title, kept rolling. "Before the season we knew we had a young team," Moeser said. "We had our ups and downs this year, but I feel next year we'll have a great team."
Brown scored twice for the Jesuits, who are primed to face the Wreckers in the quarterfinals.
"We feel real confident with the way our team is playing right now," Seelye said.
GREENWICH 0 1 1 3 -- 5
FAIRFIELD PREP 4 3 5 3 -- 15
Scoring: G -- Alex Moeser (2 g); Decker Curran (2 g); James Tooher (1 g); Will Gibian (1 a); Michael Ellsworth (1 a). FP -- Matt Brophy (5 g, 2 a); Austin Sims (4 g, 2 a); Kevin Brown (2 g, 1 a); Tim Edmonds (1 g); David White (1 g); John Edmonds (1 g); Sean Henry (1 g, 1 a). Records: Fairfield Prep 16-3; Greenwich 9-9