Westies fall to Conard in state tournament
By MIKE MADERA
(May 28, 2016) - The season has come to an end for the West Haven boys lacrosse team. Facing 12th-seeded Conard in a CIAC Class L qualifying round game, the 21st-seeded Westies fell on the road Saturday afternoon 17-5 to watch their season come to a close.
With the loss, West Haven ends its campaign with an 8-9 record, the first time all season the Westies were under .500.
Conard scored the first eight goals of the contest, before West Haven finally got on the board with 21 seconds left in the first quarter when Joe Consorte was set up by Santo Barbagiovanni.
Trailing 9-1, Barbagiovanni scored an unassisted goal with 5:23 left in the half and James McCarthy scored 3:23 later off an assist from Nick Massaro as the Westies trailed 11-3 at the break.
Barbagiovanni scored with 5:23 left in the third to get the Westies within 14-4 and McCarthy scored West Haven's final goal of the season off an assist from Matt Dowd.
Ryan Pickering made 10 saves in the loss.
Branford tops Westies
Hornets post 9-5 win
By MIKE MADERA
(May 19, 2016) - The West Haven boys lacrosse team knows it needs wins if it wants to improve its state tournament position. That did not happen in the regular season finale as Branford topped West Haven 9-5 Thursday evening in Branford.
With the loss, West Haven ends the regular season with a record of 8-8, closing with a pair of losses before the postseason.
Branford was in control from the start, leading 1-0 after the first quarter and 3-1 at the half. The Hornets then went on a 5-2 run in the third quarter to take an 8-3 lead which the Westies never rallied back from.
Sal Russo, Logan Cole, Jordan Wetmore, James McCarthy and Santo Barbagiovanni each scored once for the Westies. Barbagiovanni and Nick Massaro each added one assist apiece in the loss.
Ryan Pickering finished with 23 saves for the Westies.
Westies fall to Lions
Foran scores 7 in second half of 10-3 win over WH
By MIKE MADERA
(May 16, 2016) - The West Haven boys lacrosse team was in a battle with Foran during the second half of Monday evening's contest in Milford. Unfortunately for the Westies, the second half was all Foran.
Scoring all seven goals in the second half, Foran pulled away in a 10-3 win over the Westies at Foran High. With the loss, West Haven fell to 8-7 on the year.
"We knew this was going to be tough," West Haven coach Patrick Reed said. "Foran needed the game to qualify for the state tournament. We were hoping to play the role of spoiler. Foran's face off midfielder Lance Dinatale has been winning over 70% of the draws and their best attack man Jacob Lambert has 38 goals and nine assists. Christian Santiago and Nick Camara took turns locking off Lambert for the entire game as short stick defensive midfielders. He ended up with one assist. It's only the second time all year he was held without a goal."
West Haven trailed 2-0 after one quarter, but two goals by James McCarthy and another by Joe Consorte had the game even at three at the half.
The Lions dominated the second half, taking a 6-3 lead after three quarters and adding four more in the fourth quarter.
"They killed us on faceoffs," Reed said. "We were tied at three in the third. Unfortunately, they did a great job keeping the possessions in the second half and wore our defense down. They also capitalized on three man up situations in the second half. We need to stay out of the penalty box better than we have."
Ryan Pickering made 12 saves in the loss for West Haven.
Two in a Row
WH beats Lyman 7-5 on Senior Night
By MIKE MADERA
(May 12, 2016) - After dropping three in a row and six of seven, the West Haven boys lacrosse team looked to be getting back on track. Less than a week after falling to Lyman Hall, West Haven paid back the Trojans, winning 7-5 Thursday evening on Senior Night at Ken Strong Stadium.
With its second straight win, West Haven improved to 8-6 on the year.
"We are developing a great rivalry with these guys," West Haven coach Patrick Reed said. "Our teams usually play together during the summer tournaments so they know each other well. It really was so similar to our first game in many ways. We took a lead and they came back to tie it up in the fourth. We got really lucky in the fourth. They made a few mistakes, throwing the ball out of bounds on fast breaks and we were able to turn it around and capitalize."
The Westies had to battle as Lyman Hall rallied from a 4-1 deficit to even the game at five less than a minute into the fourth quarter. Santo Barbagiovanni responded by scoring 1:57 into the final quarter for a 6-5 lead, and Joe Consorte provided insurance with 5:21 to go for a 7-5 lead.
Consorte opened the scoring 1:38 into the first quarter off an assist from Hunter Cole, before Jordan Wetmore scored the first of his two goals to give West Haven a 2-1 lead with 7:49 left in the second quarter. James McCarthy's goal in the final seconds of the first half lifted West Haven to a 3-1 advantage.
"Joe Consorte had a huge game with two goals and two assists," Reed said. "He has been so consistent for us this year. He has had a point in every game except one when I played a lot of our young guys. Ryan Pickering continues to keep us in a lot of games. Danny Samperi had a huge game at the X, fighting for every ball."
Barbagiovanni's first goal of the game 27 seconds into the third quarter put the Westies up 4-1 before Wetmore scored 2:14 later for a 5-2 advantage.
Ryan Pickering made 19 saves in the win for West Haven.
Westies top Governors
WH posts 8-4 victory
By MIKE MADERA
(May 10, 2016) - The West Haven boys lacrosse team snapped its three-game losing streak Tuesday afternoon with an 8-4 victory over Wilbur Cross in New Haven. With the victory, the Westies improved to 7-6 on the season and qualified for the state tournament.
"Obviously, I am glad we qualified for the CIAC tournament, but I am really concerned with our offense," West Haven coach Patrick Reed said. "We have only made it to ten goals once in the last nine games. We need to get out of this slump now."
Santo Barbagiovanni and Joe Consorte each scored three goals and James McCarthy scored twice in the win. Ryan Pickering continued to play well in goal with six saves.
"It is great that those guys are scoring, but we are not getting a lot of assisted goals. When we have to rely on individual efforts, we really struggle. We switched up our defense yesterday and played man to man for the first time all season. Our guys did a good job and only had one or two breakdowns so I am happy with their effort. Sergio Miranda was playing against his old team and he definitely played like he had something to prove."
Lyman Hall rallies past Westies
Four goals in fourth leads to 7-5 LH win
By MIKE MADERA
(May 9, 2016) - Looking to remain over the .500 mark, the West Haven boys lacrosse team traveled to play Lyman Hall Monday afternoon. With a three-goal lead in the third quarter, it appeared as if the Westies would do so.
Give credit to Lyman Hall. Rallying from a 4-1 deficit, Lyman Hall scored six of the last seven goals in the game to defeat West Haven 7-5 Monday afternoon in Wallingford.
"It was a tough one," West Haven coach Patrick Reed said after his team fell to 6-6 with its third straight loss. "Both of us ran a zone defense and every possession really mattered. We were up 3-1 at the half and 4-1 in the third. Their guys knew if they had any chance of making the playoffs, they had to win the game. I give them a ton of credit for digging in. They out ground balled us the whole game and in the third and fourth quarters, we had a few missed opportunities that kept us from putting the game away."
After Lyman Hall scored the last two goals of the third quarter in a span of 3:06 to get within 4-3, West Haven answered with a goal by Joe Consorte 42 seconds into the fourth quarter for a 5-3 advantage. The Westies never scored again.
Instead, Lyman Hall scored the final four goals, including three in the final 5:41 of the contest to pull out the victory.
The Westies started quickly and took a 3-0 lead late in the second quarter. Brian Kelly gave the Westies a 1-0 lead off an assist from Dan Samperi 2:07 into the game. James McCarthy increased the lead to 2-0 off an assist from Samperi with 4:30 left in the half and Consorte made it 3-0 just 1:37 later.
"Our defense did a great job," Reed said. "(Gerry) Maus, (Sal) Russo and (Sergio) Miranda did a great job all day and Ryan Pickering was really seeing the ball well. Dan Samperi did a great job facing off and won all four faceoffs in the second quarter."
When McCarthy scored his team-leading 26th goal of the season 3:17 into the third, West Haven held a 4-1 lead.
Ryan Pickering made 25 saves in the loss for West Haven.
Thunderbirds pound Westies
NB rolls to 22-6 win
By MIKE MADERA
(May 7, 2016) - The West Haven boys lacrosse team was looking for something to get it out of its recent funk. Not scoring as much and giving up more than they did in the first handful of games, the Westies have found themselves in a recent slide of late.
That slide continued Saturday when the Westies fell to North Branford 22-6 in North Branford. The loss was West Haven's fifth in its last six games and dropped the team to 6-5 on the year.
North Branford struck quickly, leading 6-1 at the end of one quarter and 11-4 at the half. An 8-1 run by the Thunderbirds in the third quarter sealed the contest for North Branford.
Santo Barbagiovanni and James McCarthy led the West Haven offense with two goals apiece, while Joe Consorte and Dylan Salvatore each scored once.
Consorte also added an assist as did Hunter Cole. Ryan Pickering made six saves in the loss for West Haven.
Conor Odell led North Branford with seven goals and one assist, and Brian McKee had five goals and five assists.
Rams thump Westies
Cheshire dominate in 17-2 win
By MIKE MADERA
(May 3, 2016) - After starting the season with five straight wins, the West Haven boys lacrosse team knew the schedule would get tougher. The schedule has proven to be just that as the Westies have followed with four losses in five games.
The latest loss for the Westies came Tuesday evening as Cheshire scored early and often in a 17-2 victory over the Westies at Ken Strong Stadium. The loss dropped West Haven to 6-4 on the year.
Cory Coleman (6), Ryan Pickering (1) and Salvatore Russo (7), seen here earlier in the season, fell to Cheshire, May 3, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The Westies got on the board first in the opening quarter on a goal by Santo Barbagiovanni, but the Rams scored the next six times for a 6-1 lead after one quarter. Cheshire increased the lead to 13-1 at the half and the Westies never rallied back.
Joe Consorte scored off an assist from Nick Massaro in the fourth quarter in the loss for West Haven.
Ryan Pickering finished with 19 saves in the loss.
Westies top Windsor
McCarthy leads WH to 10-5 win
By MIKE MADERA
(April 27, 2016) - The West Haven boys lacrosse team snapped its three-game losing streak with a 10-5 victory over Windsor Wednesday afternoon. The road victory helped the Westies improve to 6-3 on the season.
James McCarthy scored West Haven's first five goals, Joe Consorte had two goals, Santo Barbagiovanni finished with a goal and two assists and Nick Massaro added a goal and an assist in the win.
James McCarthy (9), seen here against Notre Dame, and the Westies defeated Windsor, April 27, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"We started very slow," West Haven coach Patrick Reed said. "It was a long bus ride up there and we played the first five or ten minutes like we were still on the bus. Windsor was ready and scored two quick ones. We didn't score our first goal until about nine minutes in, but then rattled off four goals to end the quarter up 4-2. Offensively, it was another huge game for James McCarthy, who scored our first five goals. A lot of people mention James' size when explaining why he is doing so well. Definitely, it's part of it, but he has really great hands. He catches passes in tough spots that a lot of guys can't, and he is a student of the game."
Trailing 2-0, McCarthy scored five straight times, the fourth with 1:07 left in the first quarter for a 4-2 West Haven lead. Goals by McCarthy, Consorte and Barbagiovanni in the second quarter gave the Westies a 7-2 lead.
"The goals were set up by some great plays by James' teammates," Reed said. "Santo Barbagiovanni and Dylan Salvatore both had two assists on some very unselfish plays."
Ryan Pickering finished with 16 saves in the win for the Westies.
"Ryan Pickering was outstanding as usual between the pipes, recording 16 saves," Reed said.
Chris Santiago also scored for West Haven.
Westies thumped by ND
Notre Dame posts 18-4 victory
By MIKE MADERA
(April 25, 2016) - The road is not getting any easier for the West Haven boys lacrosse team. Starting off the season with five straight wins, West Haven has run into some tough teams of late. The result has been three straight losses.
Monday afternoon against cross-town rival Notre Dame was no different as the Green Knights expanded an early lead to lead by 12 goals at the half and never looked back in an 18-4 win over the Westies.
Jerry Maus (27) wins the battle for the loose ball against Notre Dame-WH, April 25, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The road loss saw West Haven within striking distance in the opening quarter, trailing only 5-2, but the Green Knights exploded in the second quarter with nine more goals to put the game away.
Santa Barbagiovanni led the Westies with a pair of goals, Joe Consorte scored once and James McCarthy scored his team-leading 17th goal of the year. Jordan Wetmore also picked up an assist in the loss.
Joe Consorte (18) and the Westies fell against Notre Dame-WH, April 25, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Ryan Pickering made 14 saves as the Green Knights held a 32-11 shot advantage in the game.
Vin Paolillo led the Green Knights with six goals and three assists, while Mike Stofko and Miguel Generoso each had three goals. Matt Wielk had two goals and three assists, and Ed Moran and Noah Fearnley each scored twice for the Green Knights.
Shelton tops Westies
Gaels send WH to second straight defeat
By MIKE MADERA
(April 23, 2016) - After opening the season with five straight wins, the West Haven boys lacrosse team has hit a bump in the road. Having been outscored by 20 goals in two games, the Westies fell to 5-2 with a 16-8 loss against Shelton Saturday afternoon at Ken Strong Stadium.
Defense and timely scoring have been the keys early in the season, but both Hamden and Shelton have slowed down the Westies in a pair of contests following the streak to open the season.
West Haven coach Patrick Reed (l.) talks with Dylan Salvatore (41) during a 16-8 loss against Shelton, April 23, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Against the Gaels, West Haven was behind early, trailing 10-1 after one quarter and 12-2 at the half. The Westies battled in the third, but the rally was not nearly enough.
With James McCarthy (9) looking on, West Haven's Santo Barbagiovanni (15) celebrates a goal against Shelton, April 23, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Shelton scored the first nine goals of the game before Santo Barbagiovanni scored off an assist from Joe Consorte. Trailing 11-1, James McCarthy scored off an assist from Barbagiovanni to get West Haven within 11-2.
McCarthy scored twice, and Barbagiovanni and Matt Dowd each scored once in the third quarter to get the Westies within 13-6, but Shelton again pulled away. Barbagiovanni assisted on both McCarthy goals in the third quarter.
Ryan Pickering made 22 saves in the loss for West Haven.
Westies fall to Hamden
Green Dragons too much in 14-2 win over WH
By MIKE MADERA
(April 21, 2016) - The West Haven boys lacrosse team was looking to start the season with six straight wins. Playing a tough Hamden team Thursday evening, the Westies were unable to do so.
Hunter Cole (13) against Hamden, April 21, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Shut out in the first half, West Haven was unable to rebound and dropped a 14-2 decision against the Green Dragons to fall to 5-1 on the season.
The Green Dragons were able to shut down West Haven's high-powered offense, allowing just a pair of goals by Joe Consorte in the third quarter.
Logan Cole (36) against Hamden, April 21, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
By the time Consorte had scored, the Westies were in too big of a hole to climb out of. Hamden led only 2-0 after one quarter, but expanded that margin to 7-0 at the half and 10-2 after three quarters of play.
Dylan Salvatore (22) against Hamden, April 21, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Hamden put the game away with four more goals in the final quarter. Chris Guidrone led the Green Dragons with five goals and an assist in the game,
Jordan Wetmore had an assist in the loss for West Haven. Ryan Pickering made 18 saves for the Westies.
BOYS LACROSSE 2016
Ryan Pickering save against Bristol Central, April 2, 2016. Video courtesy Mike Madera.
James McCarthy scores against Bristol Central, April 2, 2016. Video courtesy Mike Madera.
Logan Cole against Bristol Central, April 2, 2016. Video courtesy Mike Madera.
Joe Consorte scores against Bristol Central, April 2, 2016. Video courtesy Mike Madera
Justin Burbank scores against Bristol Central, April 2, 2016. Video courtesy Mike Madera.
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WH improves to 5-0 with win over Sheehan
By MIKE MADERA
(April 15, 2016) - The West Haven boys lacrosse team continues to roll. Behind two goals apiece from James McCarthy and Joe Consorte, West Haven won its fifth straight contest to open the season with an 8-4 victory over Sheehan in Wallingford Friday evening.
West Haven, 5-0 on the season, also received 19 saves from Ryan Pickering in the win.
Christian Santiago (21), seen here earlier in the season, and the Westies improved to 5-0 with a win over Sheehan, April 15, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The Westies jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the game when Brian Kelly scored off an assist from McCarthy with 11 minutes, 34 seconds left in the first quarter. West Haven increased the margin to two goals with 4:02 to go in the quarter on a goal from Santo Barbagiovanni.
Leading 2-1 in the second, McCarthy increased the lead to two goals off an assist from Kelly. Sheehan again got within a goal, but McCarthy and Consorte scored 19 seconds apart for a 5-2 halftime lead.
Goals by McCarthy and Consorte in the third quarter gave West Haven 7-4 lead, before Dylan Salvatore capped the scoring in the fourth quarter.
Westies improve to 4-0 with 11-7 win over Law
By MIKE MADERA
(April 12, 2016) - West Haven boys lacrosse coach Patrick Reed loves what hee sees from his team early in the season. Why wouldn't he?
Off to to be the best start in quite some time, the Westies improved to 4-0 with an 11-7 victory over Jonathan Law Tuesday evening.
West Haven jumped out to a quick lead, scoring six times in the first quarter and adding two more in the second for an 8-1 advantage. Law fought back with six goals in the second half, but the Westies had enough in the win.
"This is a really great start for us," Reed said. "I am pretty sure it's the only time we have ever started 4-0. It was a huge game tonight from James McCarthy and Nick Massaro. James had four goals in the first quarter. Nick had two assists in the first quarter and two assists in the third quarter. We went up pretty big and the Law kids never gave up. They chipped away at the lead."
James McCarthy (9) scored four goals against Law, April 12, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
James McCarthy led the way for West Haven with four goals, all coming in the first quarter, and one assist. Nick Massaro had four assists, and Jordan Wetmore added two goals and an assist.
McCarthy gave West Haven a 1-0 lead off an assist from Wetmore with 10 minutes, 18 seconds left in the first quarter, before Massaro set up McCarthy for a 2-0 lead with 6:56 to go in the opening quarter.
Massaro set up McCarthy again 1:21 later and Wetmore gave the Westies a 4-0 lead with 4:24 left in the opening quarter. Goals by Justin Burbank and McCarthy rounded out the scoring for West Haven in the opening quarter.
Nick Massaro (42) had four assists against Law, April 12, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Brian Kelly and Wetmore scored 2:41 apart in the second quarter for an 8-1 lead. While Law scored six times in the second half, third quarter goals by Dan Samperi, Joe Consorte and Niko Kyle had the Westies on top 11-3 after three quarters of play.
Ryan Pickering (1) made 12 saves against Law, April 12, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Law had 19 shots in the game, but West Haven's Ryan Pickering came up big with 12 saves.
"Ryan had a huge day between the pipes, getting 12 saves," Reed said of Pickering.
See highlights of the game from WTNH SportzEdge here.
WH tops Cross 9-3 to improve to 3-0
By MIKE MADERA
(April 9, 2016) - With the start of the spring season seeing inconsistent scheduling due to inclement weather, one thing which has been consistent is the play of the West Haven boys lacrosse team.
Behind a balanced scoring attack, stellar defense and solid goaltending, the Westies have opened the season in impressive fashion. That formula was put to work once again Saturday evening as the Westies improved to 3-0 with a 9-3 victory over Wilbur Cross at Ken Strong Stadium. The start is the best in recent memory for West Haven.
James McCarthy (9), seen here against Bristol Central earlier in the season, scored three goals in West Haven's victory against Wilbur Cross, April 9, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"I give a ton of credit to the Cross players and coaches," West Haven coach Patrick Reed said. "They had a great game plan and fought for everything. Even though we put up nine goals, it was a huge struggle for every point. Cross really showed us a lot of things we need to work on."
The Westies were in control from the start, scoring six times in the first half and taking a 6-1 lead at halftime. While it was a closer game in the second half, the Westies were never in trouble as they rolled to their third straight victory to open the season,
West Haven jumped out to a 4-0 lead after one quarter of play. Brian Kelly set up Justin Burbank for a 1-0 lead, Gerry Maus set up Logan Cole for a 2-0 advantage and James McCarthy increased the margin to 4-0 with the next two goals off assists from Hunter Cole and Kelly.
After Cross got within 4-1 in the second quarter, McCarthy scored his third of the game off an assist from Barbagiovanni and Kelly, who had three assists, set up Barbagiovanni for a 6-1 lead.
Santo Barbagiovanni (15), seen here against Bristol Central, and the Westies defeated Wilbur Cross, April 9, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Leading 6-2 in the third quarter, West Haven increased the margin to five goals on a tally by Jordan Wetmore. With a 7-3 lead in the fourth quarter, goals by Wetmore and Barbagiovanni put West Haven on top 9-3.
"I was very proud of how well the kids pulled together," Reed said. "After the game, the kids were focused on what we can do to improve. 3-0 is great, but we look at our schedule and know that we need to go 4-0. Tuesday is a critical game against Law."
Ryan Pickering finished the game with 11 saves.
"Ryan was the key to the win," Reed said.
Westies dump NDFF 10-3
By MIKE MADERA
(April 7, 2016) - The West Haven boys lacrosse team started the season wondering where the goals would come from. Now the Westies are enjoying the offensive production.
Scoring 10 goals for the second straight game, West Haven picked up another win, defeating Notre Dame-Fairfield 10-3 on the road Thursday afternoon.
The Westies once again spread the wealth as eight different players were in the scoring column and six different players scored goals.
Santo Barbagiovanni led the way for West Haven with three goals and an assist, Dylan Salvatore and James McCarthy each scored twice, and Hunter Cole, Joe Consorte and Justin Burbank each had one goal. Cole also added a pair of assists.
Hunter Cole (13), seen here against Bristol Central, and the Westies improved to 2-0 with a win over Notre Dame-Fairfield, April 7, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"The guys have picked it up," Reed said after his team improved to 2-0. "They really believe in themselves right now. Everybody is looking at it as they are responsible for what happens. Everyone is contributing right now. Everyone is trying to get into it."
The Westies scored the first five goals of the game in the opening quarter for a 5-0 advantage.
McCarthy got things going off an assist from Brian Kelly, Hunter Cole set up Consorte, and Barbagiovanni added an unassisted goal for a 3-0 lead. Barbagiovanni then set up Hunter Cole and Dylan Salvatore added an unassisted goal for a 5-0 lead.
After the Lancers scored to cut the deficit to 5-1, goals by McCarthy and Salvatore extended West Haven's lead to 7-1.
With West Haven up 7-2, Barbagiovanni scored an unassisted goal, Justin Burbank scored off an assist from Logan Cole and Barbagiovanni scored his third off an assist from Consorte.
Ryan Pickering made 14 saves in the win for the Westies, while Dan Samperi won his first eight faceoffs.
Westies top Bristol Central
Consorte, Burbank lead offense in 10-5 win in season opener
By MIKE MADERA
(April 2, 2016) - West Haven boys lacrosse coach Patrick Reed had his concerns as the 2016 season approached. Losing 93 of 113 goals scored from one year ago to either graduation or transfer, Reed and his team had to find ways to put some balls in the back of the net.
One game into the season, Reed can feel just a little bit better. With seven different players scoring and 11 players combining for points, West Haven rolled to a 10-5 victory over Bristol Central Saturday afternoon in the season opener for both teams at Ken Strong Stadium.
Joe Consorte (18) scored three times against Bristol Central, April 2, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"I thought we did a great job today," Reed said after his team improved to 1-0. "We had a pretty rough practice last week and we just said at some point, we had to start getting better. They all came out, believed, and gave 100 percent. We played hard today which I was very happy with. Bristol Central is every bit as good as us, but we just outhustled them and found a way to win the battles."
Reed was looking forward to watching Joe Consorte, a transfer from Notre Dame-West Haven, take the field and the coach was not disappointed as the junior scored three goals and added two assists, while fellow junior Justin Burbank scored twice and added a pair of assists.
While the West Haven offense was clicking, senior goalie Ryan Pickering made 15 saves, including a brilliant leg save off a rifle of a shot by Zacharie Bouchard with eight minutes left in the third quarter and the Westies holding an 8-3 lead.
Ryan Pickering (1) made 15 saves against Bristol Central, April 2, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"They had scored and we were trying to get the momentum back," Pickering said. "We needed something to get it back."
Any concerns Reed had of the offense before the game quickly subsided as the Westies scored twice in the first 5 minutes, 13 seconds of the game for a 2-0 advantage.
Burbank gave the Westies a 1-0 lead just 2:28 into the contest when he scored off an assist from Santo Barbagiovanni from 5 yards out. Just 2:45 later, the Westies increased the margin to a pair of goals.
Capitalizing on a solid defensive play by Matt Dowd, the Westies rushed up the field where Nick Massaro fed James McCarthy in front. McCarthy spun around and beat Bristol Central goalie John Duncan for a two-goal advantage.
James McCarthy (9) and Joe Consorte (18) celebrate a West Haven goal against Bristol Central, April 2, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"It is the first game of the season against a good opponent," Bristol Central coach Andy Aros said after his team fell to 0-1. "We made some mistakes where we did not cover some guys down low. The season is still young."
Consorte then took over the remainder of the opening quarter, scoring twice in the final 4:33. Consorte's first goal as a Westie came after he took a pass from Burbank, went through the center of the field and bounced a shot past Duncan from 15 yards out.
Consorte's second of the game was equally impressive as Burbank flipped a pass over to Consorte, who cut in, then fired another shot from 15 yards out for a 4-0 advantage with 22 seconds left in the opening quarter.
"This is a good start for us," Consorte said. "It is a nice win in our first game. We worked as a team out there today. We worked hard and were able to find ways to score today."
Consorte's third consecutive goal just 2:25 into the second quarter gave the Westies a 5-0 lead, before the Rams finally got on the scoreboard. Nick Gagnon fed Bouchard, who circled around the goal and beat Pickering for the first of his three goals on the day with 8:12 left in the quarter to cut the deficit to 5-1.
With the Rams picking up the pace, Consorte and Burbank slowed them down. Taking a pass from Consorte, Burbank cut from the middle of the field to the right side and fired a shot to the top left corner for a 6-1 lead with 5:46 remaining in the first half.
"I am happy with the way we started the season," Reed said. "There are still things we need to work on to get better at in order for us to make the tournament. I am so pleased with the effort we showed today. I am proud of all the guys and I am proud of the guys on defense and the job they did today."
Goals by Bristol Central's Dante Coco and West Haven's Dan Samperi 1:20 apart sent the Westies to half with a 7-2 lead, before Bouchard scored 20 seconds into the third to get the Rams within 7-3.
Any thoughts of a Bristol Central comeback quickly faded off the draw as Dowd went the distance to give the Westies an 8-3 lead just eight seconds later.
Pickering followed with the big leg save off the shot by Bouchard and Logan Cole scored from 10 yards out with 3:36 left in the third to put West Haven on top 9-3.
"Ryan may be the best goalie I have had here at West Haven," Reed said of Pickering. "He comes up with some big saves in key moments. The bigger the moment, the better he does."
The Rams got goals by Bouchard and Alexander Lape 1:02 apart less than two minutes into the fourth quarter to get within four goals, but Jordan Wetmore iced the win with an unassisted goal with 5:12 remaining.
In search of Offense
Westies need to replace scoring of a season ago
By MIKE MADERA
(April 1, 2016) - The West Haven lacrosse team has one task in mind when starting the 2016 season.. That task is not an easy one.
Coming off a season in which the Westies were 8-9, losing to Amity in the qualifying round of the Class L state tournament, West Haven has a tall task at hand. Losing 93 of 113 goals scored last year to either graduation or transfer, the Westies will have to find ways to put the ball in the net in 2016.
"We have a very small roster this year so staying healthy will be key," West Haven coach Patrick Reed said. "Offensively, we need to do a better job protecting the ball and seizing every opening we have. Defensively, we are coming together pretty quickly. This group has the best attitude of any team I have coached. They challenge each other to get better every day."
Looking to qualify for the 2016 postseason, the formula is very simple. West Haven needs to find a way to replace the 50 points lost to the transfer of Jake Conlan, including 30 goals. They will also need to replace the scoring and leadership of the the graduated Justin Tuschhoff, Devin Hines and Dom Moscato.
Leading the way in 2016 for the Westies are senior co-captains Ryan Pickering and Hunter Cole. Pickering made 147 saves in goal last season and will be counted on again to keep his team in the games until the offense gets going.
Senior captain Ryan Pickering (1) will be a key part of West Haven's success from in goal in 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Cole will be counted on heavily this season as he will lead the way from his midfield position.
"Both of my captains have been four-year varsity starters," Reed said. "They earned my respect as freshmen and only continue to impress me. Ryan has developed into one of the best goalies in our conference. His play last year earned him a Division II scholarship. He anchored our defense in arguably the best year in program history. Hunter is the toughest kid we have. He plays with grit and does all of the little things to keep us together as a team. He scores when we need it, plays great defense when we need it, and even makes a big hit when we need it."
Senior captain Hunter Cole (13) will look to lead the Westies from his midfield position in 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Reed also has a handful of key returners he hopes will lead his team back to the postseason. Senior Santo Barbagiovanni will play attack, juniors Justin Burbank and Dylan Salvatore are at midfield, and junior Gerry Maus and sophomore Matt Dowd will see plenty of time at defense/long stick middies.
Sophomore Matt Dowd (39), seen here last year against Wilbur Cross, is expected to be a key contributor on the 2016 team. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"Santo (Barbagiovanni) has the biggest shoes to fill," Reed said. "Offensively, we lost a lot and he has taken a lot of the responsibility to create for us. Gerry Maus is a very athletic defenseman. He will play the crease in our defense and has done a great job so far this preseason."
Junior Joe Consorte transferred across town from Notre Dame and will be at midfield, and junior Sergio Miranda, a transfer from Wilbur Cross, will play defense.
"I have known Joe (Consorte) since he played youth for us," Reed said. "He is a very exciting addition. He is a threat to score from anywhere. I expect him to be playing with the first midfield. Sergio (Miranda) came to us from Cross and changed positions from midfield to defense. He is a big, athletic kid. Once he gets to understand our system, I believe he will be a huge contributor."
Reed and his squad will see some solid competition all season inside and outside of the league. League play has offered some tough battles throughout the years.
"We have developed several great rivalries within our league," Reed said. "Cross, Lyman Hall, Foran and Law are all programs we look to compete with. Regardless of records, these games always seem to be nail-biters."
West Haven opens the season Saturday, April 2 at home against Bristol Central at 3 p.m.