Boys Lacrosse

Boys Lacrosse 2016: Loaded Blue Wave Hope To Stay Ahead Of Skilled Pack

Colin Minicus returns to lead what will be an explosive Darien attack.

Colin Minicus returns to lead what will be an explosive Darien attack.

Boys lacrosse remains arguably the best played sport in the FCIAC, with programs that are nationally ranked and more players competing in college — many for Top 25 schools — than ever before. The game remains on an upswing, and that should be most evident this spring.

Darien is ranked high in preseason polls, while a familiar cast that includes New Canaan, Ridgefield and Greenwich are right behind. Staples remains solid, Wilton continues on the rebound and schools like Fairfield Ludlowe are becoming more competitive.

The Favorite

Darien. It was man-bites-dog news a year ago when the 11-0 Blue Wave lost three of four games, including one-goal decisions to New Canaan and Greenwich, on the eve of the postseason. Then came the rebound and league and state titles. Darien coach Jeff Brameier said the slump served as the added necessary motivation to help his team reach its goals. Incentive will come from within this spring because despite some key personnel losses, the Blue Wave are loaded. A slide like last year is difficult to fathom. The defense is led by Player of the Year Mark Evanchick and goaltender Ryan Cornell. The midfield is two-deep, and the attack behind Colin Minicus, Jack Kniffin, Kevin Lindley and Christian Trifone is explosive. This group has the potential to be one of Brameier’s best ever.

Ryan

Ryan O’Connell is part of what should be one of the best midfield units in New Canaan history.

The Contenders

New Canaan. The Rams would be the favorite most years, though there is a long line of great teams that had a roadblock to a championship in its way. The midfield of Kyle Smith, Peter Swindell and Ryan O’Connell rank with the best in the Rams’ illustrious history. David Strupp is outstanding on defense, and with Jackson Appelt and Clayton Burt the attack will be potent. There is a quiet confidence among the players, who believe this is their year.

Ridgefield. The Tigers had a pair of tough losses to Darien in both postseason finals, including a hard-fought 6-5 decision in the state tournament. Midfielder Peter Dearth is among the league’s elite players and Schuyler Blair on the attack is the focal point of every opponent’s defense. Mark Galione and Chase Levesque are two more leaders on a team that could easily make return championship game trips.

The Sleeper

Greenwich: Bobby Lutz played in New Canaan for Howard Benedict, was an assistant to Brameier at Darien and now gets his first head coaching job at one of the league’s most respected programs. Lutz inherits a packed cupboard, led by Will Perry and Scooter Harrington at midfield and Michael Sands on the attack. The Cardinals may not be as deep as in past seasons, but their main rotation will remain formidable.

30 To Watch

Jackson Appelt, New Canaan

Harrison Bardwell, Wilton

Schuyler Blair, Ridgefield

Jack Book, Darien

Michael Brown, Wilton

Clayton Burt, New Canaan

Joe Casucci, Fairfield Ludlowe

Finlay Collins, Darien

Ryan Cornell, Darien

Peter Dearth, Ridgefield

Mark Evanchick, Darien

Mark Galione, Ridgefield

Ross Goldberg, Staples

Scooter Harrington, Greenwich

Jack Kniffin, Darien

Riley Larson, Fairfield Ludlowe

Chase Levesque, Ridgefield

Kevin Lindley, Darien

Colin Minicus, Darien

Ryan O’Connell, New Canaan

Will Perry, Greenwich

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Michael Reale, Staples

RJ Romeo, Wilton

Michael Sands, Greenwich

Kyle Smith, New Canaan

Rock Stewart, Darien

David Strupp, New Canaan

Peter Swindell, New Canaan

Christian Trifone, Darien

Tanner Wood, Staples

Peter Dearth returns to try and help Ridgefield get back to league and state finals.

Peter Dearth returns to try and help Ridgefield get back to league and state finals.

The Lineups

Danbury: G Justin Tarsi, FOGO Andrew Diehl, A Jordan Osuch, A Tyler Disarm, M Justin Warren, M Connor Warren, M Tommy O’Rourke, D Aaron Moniz, D David Wheeler, D Soloman James, LSM Brian Conlon, Nik Pollard, Renato Caceres, Peter Wenchell, Nick Bueti, Ben Conrad, Paul Messuri, Colin McNevin.

Darien: G Ryan Cornell, G Andrew Clarke, G Jeff Hingst, D  Mark Evanchick, D Will Simpson, D Jake Bieler, D Burke Blatney, D Quinn Fay, D Tim Graham, D Matt Gould, D Andrew Darby, LSM Rock Stewart, LSM Nick Percarpio, LSM Matt Gould, LSM Will Simpson, LSM Burke Blatney, SSDM Hudson Hamill, SSDM Christian Trifone, SSDM Riley Stewart, SSDM Nick Green, SSDM Bobby Trifone, SSDM Matt Hathaway, SSDM Charlie Christensen, FO Tanner Strub, FO Jack Beatty, M Hudson Hamill, M Riley Stewart, M Finlay Collins, M Jack Book, M Jake Kirby, M Jack Joyce, M Brian Minicus, M Liam Rishcman, M Matt Meyjes, M Blake Sommi, A Jack Kniffin, A  Colin Minicus, A Kevin Lindley, A Christian Trifone, A Logan McGovern, A Brendan Seiler, A Ryan Quinn, A Kevin Klingman.

Fairfield Ludlowe: D Jake Tymon, D Mitch Wyckoff, D Joe Casucci, LSM: Jack Tague, M Riley Larson, A Tim MacDonald, A Matt Culling, G Carter Leibrock.

Fairfield Warde: A Jack Potenza, A Kyle Gavey, A Gareth Gacetta, A Ted Orben, M Jack Murphy, M RJ Bebey, M Gabe Reale, D Jake Fuss, D Brian Ganon, D Chris Montenegro, D Jack Curtis.

Greenwich: A Michael Sands, A Addison Muir, A Matt Laugher, A Cooper Moore, A Jack Feda, A Tyler Saleeby, M Will Perry, M Scooter Harrington, M Jack O’Connor, M Matt Davey, M Cooper Moore, M Sean Doherty, D Callan Smith, D Peter Santry, D Holden Tiedy, D Brandon Delcristo, D Luc Ayoub, D Alex Bologna, LSM Danny Collegian, LSM JT Lawrence, SSDM Sean Doherty, SSDM Truman Imbo, G Bennett Cooper, G Andrew Triscari.

Brien McMahon: D Will Haskell, A Rob Thomson, D Shane Kilcoyqne, M Carlos Chica, M Luke Valdez-Rodriguez.

New Canaan: A Jackson Appelt, A Clayton Burt, A Graham Braden, M Kyle Smith, M Ryan O’Connell, M Peter Swindell, D David Strupp, D James Crovatto, D Andrew Bakersfield, G Drew Morris, A Richard Magnus, A Matt Bisceglia, M Jack Hoezler, M Jono Betack, M Mike Cognetta, M Matt Cognetta, D Nick Femia, D Peter O’Sullivan, D Tommy O’Dea, LSM James Freyre, LSM Will Arliss, FO Nick Crovatto.

Norwalk: M Harrison Heffernan, M Joey Laracca, D Nick LaFranco, FOGO Valentin Brito, D Matt Gola, A Justin Schneider.

Ridgefield: A Schuyler Blair, A Mark Galione, M Chase Levesque, M Bobby Philbin, M Peter Dearth, M Alec Mullin, D Austin Pavone, D Drew Mullin, G Kris Klemm.

St. Joseph: A Mike Sudora, A Jared Newall, A Jared Mallozzi, M Chris Klablonski, M Kevin Trefz, M Liam Massey, D Brian Harner, D Kevin Faustich, D Christian Trefz, D Colin Daly, G Cillian Donahue.

Stamford: M Tyequan Bonaparte, M Luke Stone, M Brad Kaptinsky, D Ryan Holbrook, D Brendan Fahey, D Stefan Jones, G Hunter Bridges, G Dan Wilmot, A Scott Moreau, A Tony Dipreta, A Nick Lucente.

Staples: A Mike Reale, A Ross Goldberg, A Connor Chamberlin, M Matt Johnson, G Peter Burger, M Evan Zinn, M Tanner Wood, M Josh Willis, D Sam Ahlgrim, D Drew O’Brien, D Billy Hutchison.

Trinity Catholic: Cooper Ehring, Justin Greene, Robert Pascale, Liam Shanahan.

Trumbull: FO Kyle Tesie, D Spencer Hillock, M Mike DeVito, M Jimmy McEwan, G Jake Bova, A Danny Hoffmann, M Peter Revert, A Jack Fairfield, M Jake Leibowitz, A Trevor Arganese, M Spencer Biebel, M Ryan Jones, D Gio Paolino, D Alec Neubauer, D Michael Nevins, A Luke Hammerman.

Westhill: G Justin Wooley, D John Nilsen, D Naresh Kumanderi, D Jack Denning, LPM Kevin Costello, LPM Nick Smeriglio, SSDM Derick Adams, SSDM Max Zussman, M Jack Cebo. M Jason Diaz, M David Mezias, A Will Hallett, A Jake Dardis, A Ryan Lubowitz, FO Mike Swingler, Cole Carpenter, M Ian Ostheimer, M Dom Eehevarria, M Carl Gedeon, D Narold Champagne.

Wilton: M Harrison Bardwell, LSM Michael Brown, A James Arbisi, A Harrison Koch, FOGO RJ Romeo, G Matt Brody.

(Teams missing did not reply to requests for information.)