Cadets wear Class M boys lacrosse crown
St. Joseph captured the Class S boys lacrosse championship with a 14-11 victory over Brookfield High on Saturday, and Cadet coach Joe Izzo wasn’t surprised by the result but happy.
“I could tell this is a special group,” he said after No. 8 St Joseph bested No. 7 Brookfield at Jack Casagrande Field in Norwalk. “They had all the pieces...They were so dedicated. Every day they gave it their all. They deserve to be champions.”
The Cadets (15-5) saw the Bobcats (14-6), out of the South-West Conference, go in front by two goals before coming back to take a 5-2 lead at the 2:27 of the first period.
“Bringing this group (from a loss in 2013) back, —most of them played — it took us time to settle in to what we do,” Izzo said.
A lot of what the Cadets do comes with practice.
“Every day we work on all our sets,” said Josiah Wilson, the facilitator for most of the St. Joseph offense. “It’s all about repetition. We caught them ball-watching early and that left it open (on the weakside) for Ryan Corcoran.”
Corcoran scored four goals in the first half and Wilson had four assists to go with two scores, as St. Joseph took a 10-6 lead into the second half.
Brookfield scored the first two goals of the third period, but St. Joseph answered with a pair of its own to take the score to 12-8 on a Corcoran tally from Peter Basher.
The Bobcats closed within 12-9 in the final minute of the quarter and St. Joseph took a 12-9 lead into the final frame.
At 5:56 of the last period, Brookfield’s Tom Petrellese found the back of the net and the Bobcats were with two.
After trading possessions, Corcoran showed patience and waited for Brookfield keeper Dan Dixon to move first before finishing off a pass from Chris Klabonski with 3:36 remaining in regulation.
Brookfield's Andrew Collins scored with 2:14 remaining to draw his team within 13-11.
Both teams coughed up possession, before the Cadets settled in and Chris Colon completed the scoring with :32.4 remaining.
When asking how playing in the FCIAC helped his team, Izzo said:
“Look around (at Greenwich and Staples warming up for the Class L final), these are FCIAC guys, these are Division I guys playing.
“They come at you wave after wave and you have to be near perfect to beat them.
“The speed we play at helps us out of conference and in the state tournament. Our guys were all in.”
St. Joseph didn’t lose to a non-conference opponent. Neither did Brookfield, until Saturday.