Class M semifinals: Cadets top Tribe
Josiah Wilson led St. Joseph with four goals and five assists, while Ryan Corcoran scored four goals, when the eighth-seeded Cadets defeated fifth-seeded Northwest Catholic from West Hartford, 12-6, in the Class S semifinals at Cheshire High on June 11.
“Last year we lost a heartbreaker to Weston and the kids have been working hard to get back there,” said St. Joseph coach Joe Izzo. “Northwest Catholic is a really good team. They sat in that zone in the first half and we had to figure it out.
“The boys settled down and we came up with a plan. They worked really hard tonight and created some opportunities and that helped us. We were able to push the tempo a little bit.”
Preston Ouellette, Chris Klabonski, Mike Sudora and Peter Bashar also scored for St. Joseph. Chris McLaughlin led the Indians with three goals, while Aidan McDonnell added two goals and an assist. John Fox scored as well.
“Ryan and Josiah are smart guys on the field and they have a good supporting cast around them that really let those guys play.” Izzo said. “Guys like Bashar, Sudora and (Jeff) Marcantonio all those guys can basically sit there and take their guy or create some sort of pressure.
“It gives those guys a little room and a little relief so they can play the game they like to play.”
Wilson got things started for the Cadets, striking first with seven minutes remaining in the first quarter and again with four minutes left to give St. Joseph a 2-0 lead.
Northwest Catholic (14-5) answered with a goal from Fox with 2:41 to play in the first to make it 2-1.
The Cadets struck back with a score from Ouellette with seven seconds left in the first quarter to make it 3-1.
In the second quarter, the Indians struck first as McLaughlin went high over Cadets’ goalkeeper Mike Braddick to make it a 3-2 game.
The Cadets stepped up on defense, closing off all lanes to the net. The defense swarmed to the ball and caused turnovers which helped St. Joseph control possession.
Despite hammering the Northwest net with shots, and controlling possession for much of the second quarter, the score was tight, 3-2, at halftime.
The second half was a different story for St. Joseph. A minute and a half into the third period, Corcoran scored his first when he ripped a shot high past the glove of Indians’ goalkeeper David Kalamarides to make it 4-2.
Less than 30 seconds later, Corcoran scored again, on a feed from Wilson to make it 5-2. Two minutes after Wilson assisted Corcoran, Wilson scored his third after he sliced through the defense and shot high over Kalamarides for the goal.
St. Joseph’s physical defense continued to clog lanes to the net and cause turnovers, which the Cadets attackers turned into points.
Corcoran scored his third of the quarter from 15 yards on a bounce shot to the right of the crease to make it 7-2. With 40 seconds to play in the third, Wilson sliced through the Indians defense again to score his fourth.
The Indians responded in the fourth quarter, as McLaughlin scored his second on a high shot on a feed from McDonnell to make it 8-3.
Klabonski answered for St. Joseph with a side-arm sling shot into the upper-left corner of the net to make it a 9-2 game.
Sudora followed suit with a shot from distance that whizzed into the back of the net, giving the Cadets an eight-goal lead with eight minutes to play.
McLaughlin had a bounce shot to make it 10-4, to which Bashar answered 50 seconds later with a rip from the center of the circle to make it 11-4.
McDonnell struck back with a shot into the upper right corner with just over six minutes left in the game.
Corcoran followed with a goal on a feed from Wilson to seal the win with time running out on the Indians, trailing 12-5 with four minutes left.
McDonnell scored with just thirty seconds left, ripping a shot from 10 yards out to make it a 12-6 but it was too late for Northwest Catholic as the Cadets advanced to their second consecutive Class S title game.
“That’s one of our main motivations, revenging our last year’s loss to Weston,” Wilson said. “It’s just fuel power, We’re already motivated. Everyone wants to win a state championship on this team so last year’s loss just motivates us even more.”