Goalie Seelye leads Fairfield Prep boys lacrosse team into semifinals
Fairfield Prep boys lacrosse goaltender Mike Seelye is familiar with leading a team to the state final.
The senior -- and the team -- are just one win from making that happen yet again.
Seelye stopped 17 shots, including 11 in the first half, as No. 5 Prep built a big lead and rolled to a 13-4 win over No. 13 Staples in the Division L quarterfinals Saturday at Alumni Field.
"We have a great group of guys," Henry said. "It's a great experience."
Prep's one win from its seventh straight state championship game. Seelye backstopped the club to the state final a year ago, despite falling to Ridgefield. But to reach the championship game again, the Jesuits will have to eliminate a familiar foe -- top-seeded Simsbury -- in Wednesday's semifinals at 4 p.m. at Conard High School. Prep has ended the Trojans' season six of the last seven years, including its 7-2 win in the state semis in 2011.
"They were a good team last year," Seelye said. "It'll be a good game, we'll definitely have to prepare for them."
Juniors Joey Zelkowitz and Colin Bannon each potted two goals for Staples as it finished its season 10-9.
"They took everything away from us," Staples coach Paul McNulty said. "I think we had some good chances ... but they stopped us."
Staples led the offensive attack early, outshooting Prep in the early going 5-1. The Wreckers could not capitalize on their chances.
"That first round, we had some good shots," McNulty said. "They just didn't go in."
Seelye also came up big, and his saves led to Prep's transition game. Henry scored two of Prep's four first-quarter goals as the Jesuits built a 4-0 advantage with Seelye spearheading much of Prep's counterattack.
"(Seelye) is a great athlete," Henry said. "He makes great decisions out there."
Prep's first-half lead ballooned to 6-1, but Zelkowitz and Bannon responded, giving Staples life by cutting the Jesuits' advantage to three.
"I like the way we never quit," McNulty said. "Those are good qualities to have and we have them."
But Brophy and Brown scored goals -- including Brown's in transition in the first half's final minute -- that lifted Prep to an 8-3 halftime lead.
"We work a great deal on various forms of transition in practice," Smalkais said. "We practice the situations that we could face in a game."
The Jesuits' defense stifled Staples in the second half, holding the Wreckers to just nine shots and a single goal.
"The signature of a Fairfield Prep lacrosse team is good team defense," Smalkais said. "It's not about the goals we score, but the number of goals we give up."
STAPLES 1 2 1 0--4
FAIRFIELD PREP 4 3 4 2--13
Records: Staples 10-9; Fairfield Prep 17-3. Scoring: S--Joey Zelkowitz (2g), Colin Bannon (2g), Jake Frimet (1a); FP--Kevin Brown (5g, 1a), Matt Brophy (4g), Austin Sims (1g, 2a) Tim Edmonds (3a), Sean Henry (2g), Peter Blevins (1g), David White (1a), Burke Smith (1a); Goalies: S--Cole Gendels (13 saves), FP--Mike Seelye (17); Shots: S--23, FP--33.