Boys lacrosse: St. Joseph set to defend title

St. Joseph, the reigning Class S state champion, earned a chance to defend its boys lacrosse title with a 13-6 victory over East Catholic in the semifinals at Ken Strong Stadium in West Haven.

The No. 10 seed Cadets (13-6) will face 13th-seeded Weston High (12-7) at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Jack Casagrande Field at Brien McMahon High School in Norwalk. It's the sixth time in seven years St. Joseph has reached the Class S boys lacrosse final, with four of those championship games contested against the aforementioned Trojans of Weston. Weston knocked off top-seeded Granby High, 13-5, in the other semifinal on Wednesday.

"They are a familiar opponent in the playoffs for us, especially in the championship game," St. Joseph High head coach Joe Izzo said. "It should be a good game."

In Wednesday's semifinal, sixth-seeded East Catholic (13-6) jumped out to a 2-0 edge after one period. Goals from Mike Sudora (at 7:18), Peter Bashar (2:40) and Preston Ouellette (52.4 seconds left) helped the Cadets pull even at 3 at the half.

The third quarter is where St. Joseph broke it open, outscoring the Eagles by a 5-2 margin, to grab an 8-5 edge.

Mike Brennan, Sudora, Colin Powell, Chris Klabonski and Ouellette netted the goals, with East Catholic getting markers from Trevor Wilcox and Connor Stull.

St. Joseph then rattled off five unanswered tallies — from Klabonski, Sudora, two more from Ouellette and a single goal from Bashar — to make it 13-5 with 1:06 left to play. Christopher Amata scored for East Catholic right before the horn to provide the final scoreline of 13-6.

Said Izzo:
"In the second half, we just talked to the guys, settled down, put them in what we thought was going to work and said, 'You've got to believe in it. And they did. They went after it and took control."