Boys lacrosse remains the FCIAC sport played at the highest level. No other one sends as many players to top Division I programs; just turn on ESPNU any spring weekend afternoon.
If you are looking for new storylines this year, forget it. We have the usual suspects, with Darien eyeing a four-peat, New Canaan primed as a formidable roadblock and programs like Wilton, Greenwich, Ridgefield and Staples looking to deny the longtime rivals.
Darien. In assessing the past three years, which ended with league and state titles, given the strength of the FCIAC and their non-league schedule, the Blue Wave’s accomplishments are open for debate on a historical scale for any sport, at least during this era. They graduate a strong class and the machine churns out another one. This season will be no different. Darien is loaded, its reserves would be a playoff team. Ryan Cornell is outstanding in goal, Kevin Lindley has already surpassed the 100-point mark, while Finlay Collins and Riley Stewart lead the midfield. If that is not enough, there is Arden Cohen, a transfer from Gunnery who has committed to Notre Dame. On the 20th anniversary of Darien’s first state championship, get the gas tanks loaded: after tomorrow’s opener at home with Yorktown, the following Saturday schedule, all on the road, feature trips to Niskayuna, Manhasset, Wilton and New Canaan.
New Canaan. The Rams would be a prohibitive favorite almost any other year, and they certainly have the personnel to end Darien’s reign. Middie Ryan O’Connell is prominent in the conversation for the mythical title of preseason Player of the Year, while the game within the game battle between Drew Morris and Cornell in goal is always a treat. James Crovatto is the leader at midfield and Jackson Appelt on attack. Nick Crovatto is one of the top faceoff specialists. And the Rams will be primed for postseason runs, with a non-league schedule that features McDonogh (MD), St. Anthony’s and Cold Spring Harbor (NY), and, closer to home, Brunswick and Fairfield Prep.
Wilton. This is the strongest team the Warriors have had in a few years, one perhaps capable of breaking through and getting to the league final for the first time since 2004. Peter Koch and Connor Drake will lead the midfield, while A.J. Hoffmann will be the anchor on defense. Joe Scarfi at midfield and Kieran McGovern on attack are two more players to keep an eye on. If a number of new starters can make the transition to larger roles, the Warriors will be in the hunt.
Greenwich. This is what qualifies as a rebuilding year for the Cardinals: replace a strong class with a number of skilled players only in need of more time. Bailey Savio, the faceoff specialist, is their top player, and there are two more to keep an eye on: Taft transfer Zach Tucker and highly touted freshman Jackson Peters. Matt Baugher is one of the top scorers.
Ridgefield. The Tigers lost five elite players, and will look to build around middie Greg Gatto. Luke Gaydos is a top defender and Drew Fowler the best returning player on attack. Dan Parsons did well after taking over in goal as a freshman at the end of last season. There are a number of juniors and sophomores stepping up, and the speed of their maturity will likely dictate how far the Tigers go.
Staples. The Wreckers also lost a lot, but any team with a scorer like Tanner Wood and middies like Evan Zinn and Ethan Burger cannot be discounted.
25 Players To Watch
Jackson Appelt, New Canaan
Matt Baugher, Greenwich
Joe Casucci, Fairfield Ludlowe
Arden Cohen, Darien
Finlay Collins, Darien
Ryan Cornell, Darien
James Crovatto, New Canaan
Nick Crovatto, New Canaan
Connor Drake, Wilton
Greg Gatto, Ridgefield
Luke Gaydos, Ridgefield
Jack Hoelzer, New Canaan
A.J. Hoffmann, Wilton
Peter Koch, Wilton
Kevin Lindley, Darien
Logan McGovern, Darien
Brian Minicus, Darien
Drew Morris, New Canaan
Jared Newall, St. Joseph
Ryan O’Connell, New Canaan
Bailey Savio, Greenwich
Riley Stewart, Darien
Zach Tucker, Greenwich
Tanner Wood, Staples
Evan Zinn, Staples
Danbury: Soloman James.
Darien: G Ryan Cornell, A Kevin Lindley, A Logan McGovern, A Matt Meyjes, A Hudson Pokorny, A Ethan Dewbrey, A Peter Hartigan, M Finlay Collins, M Riley Stewart, M Brian Minicus, M Jack Joyce, M Blake Sommi, M James Solberg, M Ryan Quinn, M Henri Pfeifle, D Arden Cohen, D Jake Bieler, D Quinn Fay, D Andrew Darby, D Matt Gould, D Tyler Strub, LSM Nic Percarpio, LSM Arden Cohen, LSM Charlie Olson, SSDM Nick Green, SSDM/FO Tanner Strub, FO Jack Beatty.
Fairfield Ludlowe: Joe Casucci.
Fairfield Warde: A Gareth Gacetta, A Ted Orben, A Blake Epstein, M Gabe Reale, M Jack Murphy, M Charlie DiGiacomo, D Brian Gannon, D Chris Montenegro, D Jack Curtis, LSM Charlie Richard.
Greenwich: A Addison Muir, A Matt Baugher, A Jack Feda, A Joe Dowling, M Zach Tucker, M Jack O’Connor, M Lance Large, M Matt Davey, M Charlie Graves, M Jackson Peters, D Holden Tiedy, D Brandon Delcristo, D Luc Ayoub, D Alex Bologna, D Michael Graves, LSM JT Lawrence, SSDM: Truman Imbo, SSDM Noah Niklaus, FO Bailey Savio, G Andrew Triscari, G Connor Santry.
Brien McMahon: G Pete Ripperger, Shane Kilcoyne, D Will Haskell, D Corey Muldoon, M Kevin MacIntyre, M Carlos Chacua, Brendan Quinlan-Huertas, M/FO Ian Campbell, A Robbie Thomson, A Roman Fillyaw, A Sabastian Cunningham.
New Canaan: G Drew Morris, M Ryan O’Connell, M Jack Hoelzer, D James Crovatto, D Chase Strupp, D Andrew Bauersfeld, A Jackson Appelt, FO Nick Crovatto.
Norwalk: A Justin Schneider, A Joshua Tilton, A Duncan Campbell, M Mickey Mannella, M Dale Donovan, M AJ Hall, D Val Brito, D Matt Gola, D Luis Vega, G Michael Cardone.
Ridgefield: A Drew Fowler, A Reid Kagan, A Dawson Muller, M Chris Costello, M Greg Gatto, M Wes Carpenter, LSM Luke Gaydos, D Noah Isaacson, D Michael Dobson, D Seth Boehle, G Dan Parsons.
St. Joseph: A Jared Newall, D Kevin Faustich, D Brian Harner, D Colin Daly, A Jared Mallozzi, Matt Labash, D Phil Pasmeg, D Bryan Viglione, G Kyle Burbank, M Dan Tobin, A Declan McGinley, M Liam McGinley, M Declan McGinley.
Stamford: D Stefan Jones, A Scott Moreau, D Ryan Holbrook, M Dylan Fyffe.
Staples: A Tanner Wood, M Ethan Burger, LSM Billy Hutchison, M Evan Zinn, M Dobson Cooper, G Matt Garber.
Trinity Catholic: Justin Greene.
Trumbull: A Danny Hoffmann, A Luke Kammerman, A Griffin Schutz, M Jake Liebowitz, M Peter Raverta, M Andrew Tinnesz, D Alec Neubauer, LSM Kyle Atherton, LSM Harrison Bowen, M Spencer Bieble, M Garrett Lapham, M Trevor Arganese, D Michael Nevins, D Zach Lombardi, G Josh Vaughn.
Westhill: A Will Hallett, A Ryan Lubowitz, A Zach Rubin, D Narold Champagne, D John Nilsen, D Kevin Costello, OM Jake Hansen, OM Dominic Echevarria, OM Jason Diaz, OM Nate Sale, DM AJ Laconna, DM Ian Ostheimer, DM Jack Malkeiwicz, FO Mike Swingler, FO Chris Cordone, G Jack Williamson.
Wilton: M Peter Koch, A Kieran McGovern, D AJ Hoffmann, D Tyler Private, D Ryan Schriber, D Colin Carroll, D Stefan Nobles, LSM Joe Scarfi, SSDM Will Litton, SSDM Harley Jeanty, SSDM AJ Pykocz, G Andrew Calabrese, FOGO Chris Sweeney, M Peter Koch, M Joe Murtha, M Conor Drake, M Zach Zeyer, M Liam Rance, M Jay Spaulding, M Charlie Hess, M Nick Disanto, M Nolan Quinn, M Ricky Tomasetti, A Brian Calabrese, A Kieran McGovern, A Liam Sullivan, A Dean DiNanno, A Ryan McDermott.
(Teams missing did not reply to requests for information.)