NEW CANAAN — Scott Bulkley could barely conceal his grin. Greenwich’s boys lacrosse coach had just watched his team rebound after giving up a four-goal lead to defeat New Canaan on Saturday afternoon, 13-10.
Bulkley was thus already in a buoyant mood when it was mentioned that when it came to the four teams considered serious contenders for the FCIAC title, the Cardinals seem to have generated the least attention.
“That’s OK, we really enjoy no one giving us any respect,” Bulkley said. “They think we’re not good. We do.”
Greenwich certainly changed the discourse of the conversation this week, following up a come-from-behind win over Ridgefield, another of the challengers, with an overtime decision against St. Joseph.
Saturday’s win was the most impressive. The Cardinals, up by four goals until the final seconds of the first half, fell behind for the first — and only — time all afternoon when Justin Meichner followed three straight goals by Michael Kraus with a bullet into the net.
The Rams only got to enjoy the advantage for 22 seconds, until Michael Sands scored in a man-up situation with 1:58 left in the third quarter. Sands did the same in the first minute of the final period. That was the start of a four-goal run that secured the outcome.
“I’m just happy with how our team responded to adversity,” said Scooter Harrington, who finished with two goals and three assists. “In a couple of games we tanked after the other team made a run. I really like the way our offense came back.”
Will Perry finished with four goals for the Cardinals (6-2, 6-0 FCIAC), whose two losses have come to out-of-state teams. Sands and Kevin Moriarty added three goals apiece for Greenwich, which scored five times with a man advantage.
“Two areas we’ve really been working on are defense and our man-up,” Bulkley said.
While Bulkely called Saturday’s game his team’s best of the season, New Canaan coach Chip Buzzeo was at a loss to find many positives.
“They just held the ball more than we did,” Buzzeo said. “A couple of turnovers hurt us a lot, penalties. We were penalized way too much. You can’t go a man down that much against a good team.”
Kraus had a strong game igniting the comeback, finishing with five goals. Ryan O’Connell added three goals, while Meichner had one goal and three assists.
“We made too many mistakes and Greenwich played perfect,” Buzzeo said.
New Canaan (4-2, 3-1) answered goals twice in the first quarter before Greenwich dominated time of possession and scored four straight times, the first three in a span of just 2:59.
The Rams regrouped at halftime.
“We talked about it, we thought New Canaan would come out with a lot more energy,” Bulkley said. They went on a bit of a run and we had to weather it. We settled down and pulled away again. I’m very proud of my guys.”
Harrington agreed that the Cardinals, defending state champions, had yet to catch the eye of the pundits.
“We didn’t come into the year with as much hype as other teams, but we’ve been working to get ready for the playoffs because that’s when it really counts,” Harrington said.
As for his own players, Buzzeo said, “They need to be humble, they need to be ready to play and they need to execute better.”