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Boys Lacrosse Five CIAC stories to watch

May 25, 2019

Juvenile success

Storyline: New Fairfield won last year’s Class M championship, beating Guilford by a goal in the quarters and Hand by two in the final. The Rebels brought just about everybody back and has raced through a near-perfect regular season. No one in the SWC came close. The Rebels shut down Staples, No. 8 in the GameTimeCT poll. No. 7 Glastonbury played them closest, 10-5. They could see Hand in the quarters and Guilford in the semis this season, and can they give the Rebels a scare?

You should know: The only non-FCIAC schools to win consecutive CIAC lacrosse titles: Somers (1996-97, Div. II; 2016-17, Class S) and Fairfield Prep (2006-09 L, 2012-13 L).

The walls of heartache

Storyline: Preseason No. 4 in the GameTimeCT poll, Wilton had key players injured all season, had two starting defenders out at one point, and fell to 1-7. The Warriors are 9-2 since then, with a run to the FCIAC final, knocking off No. 1 Darien in the semifinals with a ferocious defensive effort before a one-goal loss to New Canaan. They have no easy trip, going to Glastonbury and possibly an FCIAC-final rematch with the Rams if they get by the Tomahawks, but can these Warriors keep the roll going?

You should know: Wilton hasn’t played in a final since winning the Class M title in 2013, the longest state-final drought in team history.

Maybe we’ll meet later/Have another dance

Storyline: Darien’s only losses to CIAC teams since 2015 are last year’s Class L final to Ridgefield and this year’s FCIAC semifinals to Wilton. Revenge for the former came earlier this season, a 14-6 Blue Wave win. Opportunity for vengeance for the second might wait until next year, unless a chance comes in the final. Until goalie Andrew Calabrese and the Wilton defense shut the Wave down, they’d had decisive wins against each of the Tigers, Warriors, Greenwich and New Canaan in the regular season. They remain No. 1 in the poll going into the postseason.

You should know: Darien made a CIAC final six years in a row, 2005-2010, and can match that this season.

What’s to happen all happened before

Storyline: Class S is a minor mess. Not because of the qualifiers; it’s a pretty representative field, full of teams with potential, young programs trying to make a name, consistent older programs. But there’s also a very good chance that the quarterfinals feature a rematch of last year’s final, quite possibly pitting the two best teams, Somers and defending champion St. Joseph. Rough. At the same time, East Catholic could play St. Paul for the second time this year in Wednesday’s first round. That’s a matchup that could be a legitimate final-four game.

You should know: The last time St. Joseph made the Class S tournament but didn’t make the final was 2008.

But I can’t go back, I know

Storyline: Rematches of last year’s championship games all would have their individual dramas: Ridgefield’s deliberately boring win over Darien, New Fairfield’s comeback win over Hand, St. Joseph and Somers. We know one thing, though: If those rematches come to pass, none of them will come in a final. But finalists tend to be good bets in the bracket: In 36 state finals since 2007, all but four featured at least one team that had played for a championship the year before.

You should know: Since 2006, teams that met in a CIAC final one year have met again at some point in the playoffs the next year nine times. The previous year’s champions are 6-3.

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