Greenwich boys lacrosse team records key win over rival Darien
With Waesche producing one of his best performances in goal and Savio winning the majority of his faceoffs, the Cardinals duo cooled off a hot Blue Wave squad.
Waesche made 19 saves, while Savio won 14 of 18 faceoffs in host Greenwich's 8-6 victory over rival Darien in a crucial late-season FCIAC matchup.
"Savio was key and Waesche had a great game," said Darien coach Jeff Brameier, whose squad had won five straight conference games. "Those two were the difference makers."
Junior midfielder Kyle Foote recorded two goals and two assists and junior attack Luke Finneran had a hat trick for the Cardinals, who beat the Blue Wave for the first time since eliminating them in the 2010 FCIAC Tournament semifinals.
"We have been with the good teams all year, but we haven't put one away," Foote said. "We hung around with teams like Chaminade and Fairfield Prep. But tonight, we strung together four quarters and we're so excited to pull this game out."
Trailing 5-1 at halftime, Darien (8-6) closed to within 5-3 on consecutive goals from junior midfielder Harry Gillespie midway through the third quarter. The Cardinals regained the momentum, however, thanks to Savio at the faceoff X. Savio won the ensuing draw and Finneran wound up tallying off a pin-point pass from sophomore Decker Curran, giving GHS a 6-3 advantage with 1:50 left in the third quarter. A mere 10 seconds later, the Cards scored in transition after Savio moved the ball up the field off the faceoff.
"Savio controlling the faceoffs was huge because it's hard for teams to get runs going when they are not winning the faceoffs," said GHS coach Scott Bulkley, who was an All-American lacrosse player during his high school days at Darien. "It stops their momentum right there."
Waesche, a senior tri-captain, made 19 saves, 12 of which came in the second half.
"It's a great win for us," Waesche said. "Not only because we beat one of our rivals, but because we are veering toward the playoffs and we want to keep this momentum going and put overselves in a good position for the playoffs."
Greenwich (11-4), which may earn the No. 3 seed in next week's FCIAC Tournament with the win, jumped out to a 3-0 edge the first 6:38 of the first quarter. Finneran tallied in transition 2:30 into the opening quarter, junior attack Jamie Paradise put a shot from close in past Darien goalie Phill Huffard less than a minute later, and senior Will Gibian scored off a feed from Finneran at the 5:22 mark.
"Greenwich came out of the gates with passion and fire and they outplayed us in the first half," said Darien senior attack and captain Kevin Seiler, who had two goals and one assist. "We came out a little stale. After being down all those goals at halftime, we came out with a fire in our belly in the third quarter. We had a good run, but we couldn't put it together at the end."
Junior midfielder Sean Foley scored off a pass from junior attack Peter Lindley with just over four minutes remaining in the first quarter, making it a 3-1 game. The Cards responded with a pair of goals from Foote in the second quarter, one of which came off a laser from 15 yards out, giving the home team a 5-1 halftime lead.
Darien, meanwhile, had trouble capitalizing on its scoring chances despite having several man-up opportunities. Waesche and the play of defenders Jack Harrington, Griffin Tiedy, Jack Nail and Nick Schepis help keep the Blue Wave off the scoreboard.
"Give Waesche a lot of credit, he made some nice saves in extra man situations," Brameier said. "As an offensive group when you get behind sometimes you press and take some bad shots or you don't take advantage of your chances."
Said Bulkley: "We did a lot of good things today and Waesche played out of his mind. He has been making huge saves for us all year."
Goals from Lindley and Seiler brought the visitors to within 7-5 with 8:58 still left to play. Senior middie Mike Ellsworth gave the Cards some breathing room, tallying off a perfect pass inside from Foote. Savio won all five of the faceoffs he took in the fourth quarter.
"Before the faceoff I'm just thinking, don't go early and don't make any violations," Savio said. "I just take a deep breath, have a clear mind and try to be quick off the whistle. Everything came together for us tonight."
Greenwich 8, Darien 6
DARIEN 1 0 2 3 -- 6
GREENWICH 3 2 2 1 -- 8
Scoring: D -- Peter Lindley 1 g, 1 a; Kevin Seiler 2 g, 1 a; Harry Gillespie 2 g; Sean Foley 1 g; Ian Burgotne 1 a; Kyle Cornell 1 a; G -- Kyle Foote 2 g, 2 a; Luke Finnernan 3 g, 1 a; Will Gibian 1 g; Jamie Paradise 1 g; Michael Ellsworth 1 g; Decker Curran 2 a. Goalies: G -- William Waesche (19 saves); D -- Phil Huffard (8 saves). Records: Greenwich 11-4; Darien 8-6.