Trumbull laxmen take out Masuk Panthers

It took almost half the season to get it done, but the Trumbull High boys lacrosse team finally appears to be playing up to its potential.

Junior Sam Watson continued his torrid scoring pace with four goals, while classmates Tom Schutz and Jacob Howes each recorded hat tricks to lead the Eagles to a convincing 14-4 victory over Masuk in Monroe on May 10.

Trumbull has won four of five games since opening the season at 1-5, posting victories over Pomperaug from Southbury, Trinity Catholic of Stamford and a solid win against Norwalk High.

That puts Trumbull at 6-6 overall, marking the first time during Jim Kammerman’s three-year tenure as head coach that the Eagles have been at or above the .500 mark.

Trumbull has made steady improvement since Kammerman took over, going from three wins in 2012 to five last year to six and counting this spring. Now the Eagles have their eyes fixed on playing some postseason lacrosse.

“It feels like we’re finally coming around,” Kammerman said. “We are preparing to go to the playoffs. We have that mentality and that mindset right now. I think we’re in a much better place than we were.”

The 13-10 victory against Norwalk — an established program that dates back to the early days of the FCIAC — is proof of how far the Eagles have come.

“We’re just playing with more confidence,” Kammerman said. “It was sort of like, enough coming close in these games. We’ve got to break through against one of these teams that are in the middle tier of the FCIAC. We just played really well the other night.”

Trumbull started out slowly, allowing the Panthers (2-10) to take a 3-1 lead after the first period. But the Eagles kicked things into high gear in the second quarter and never let up, scoring six unanswered goals to take a 7-3 halftime lead before out-scoring Masuk 6-1 in the second half.

Trumbull gave up three straight Masuk goals after taking an early 1-0 lead on a scoring strike by Schutz off a pass from Stephen Kelley (two assists).

Trumbull is at its best when it’s pushing the pace and scoring in transition. Once junior Liam Garrity started taking control of the faceoff circle, and the defense started forcing turnovers, the Eagles started soaring.

Schutz pulled Trumbull to within 3-2 early in the second and Watson followed with three straight goals of his own to make it 5-3. The third of Watson’s tallies came quickly after a stop by junior goalie Danny Forren (eight saves) and a one-pass clear.

“Our best game is when we’re running up and down the field,” Kammerman said. “The more we push it, the better we are as well.”

Watson has been a big factor in Trumbull’s turnaround, scoring four goals or more in six of the last seven games.

Trumbull’s defense – led by Andrew Hans, Spencer Hallock and Matt Kapell – also started slowly, but picked things up in the second quarter and ended up forcing 20 turnovers. Masuk had more turnovers (six) than shots (two) in the second.

Trumbull outshot Masuk 42-19 and finished with a 29-17 advantage in ground balls, an accomplishment in itself on the rugged natural grass surface at Benedict Field.

Dom Bova scored two goals and assisted on one other while Mike DeVito and Chris Steigler also scored for the Eagles.

Schutz had one assist to go along with his hat trick.