If you just went off the reactions of Greenwich head coach Scott Bulkley and Prep’s Chris Smalkais, you would have thought it was the Cardinals that came away with a hard-fought, 7-6 win, and not the visitors.
Everything is relative I guess, and after the Greenwich fell to the Jesuits 14-8 and 15-5 in 2012, going toe-to-toe with the defending class L Champions and nearly coming away with a statement win, Bulkley couldn’t help but be proud of his teams’ efforts.
“We always want to do well against Prep, they are only of the best teams in the state of Connecticut and the tri-state area and they’re well coached,” Bulkley said. “When you can play them to 7-6; a tight game that was evenly fought. We want to be playing our best ball come playoffs; I told the guys before the game that you don’t win a state championship or FCIAC’s in the regular season, regardless if we win or lose this game.”
The Cardinals, Prep’s only FCIAC opponent in the regular season, almost overcame a 6-3, early fourth quarter deficit, but the Prep defense and goalie Connor Henry did just enough to thwart the comeback. Henry made a pair of late-game saves and had his post to thank after Alex Moeser hit the pipe with 40 seconds remaining.
“I thought (Henry) played outstanding, and I thought our faceoff man did well,” Smalkais said.
“I never feel like I’m out of a game with this group,” Bulkley said.
If the first half of the boys lacrosse season is any indication, Ridgefield appears to be the clear favorite. The race to get to the class L final appears to be as wide open as ever. If these two teams meet in the class L tournament for a second consecutive year, it’s unlikely to be a 10-goal blowout.
“We competed very hard, (Greenwich) competed very hard,” Smalkais said. “It was a great high school lacrosse game.”