Greenwich tops Ludlowe, Fairfield Prep up next

Greenwich attackman Decker Curran eludes a Ludlowe defender during Wednesday's game at Cardinal Stadium. Bob Luckey photo.

Greenwich attackman Decker Curran eludes a Ludlowe defender during Wednesday’s game at Cardinal Stadium. Bob Luckey photo.

For teams that don’t play in the same conference, Greenwich and Fairfield Prep certainly face each other a lot.

Since 2005, the Cardinals and Jesuits have met 14 times and more often than not, there was a lot of drama and plenty at stake. Though they have already played against each other this season, Greenwich and Fairfield Prep will duel once more Saturday in the quarterfinal round of the CIAC Class L Tournament.

Second-seeded Greenwich advanced with a 12-4 win over 18th-seeded Fairfield Ludlowe, while 10th-seeded Fairfield Prep ousted seventh-seeded Newtown, 8-1, in the first round on Wednesday. The two-time defending Class L champion Jesuits, who have six state titles to their ledger, have beaten the Cardinals four consecutive times since 2012, including a victory in the opening round of the Class L tourney two years ago.

Prep is also 12-2 in its 14 meetings vs. rival Greenwich since 2005, and are 5-0 against the Cards in the state tournament. There have been some close calls for the Jesuits along the way. They edged GHS in the L quarterfinals in 2011, 10-9, and pulled out a 10-9 victory over the Cardinals in the 2007 state title game. In 2006, Greenwich dropped a 13-12 overtime decision to Prep in the L quarterfinals . So the Cardinals would like nothing more than to gain a measure of revenge on Saturday.

“I can’t wait to play Fairfield Prep,” Greenwich senior defender Nick Schepis said. “The first game we lost by one goal, but this game we aren’t going to hold anything back. Some of the seniors on the team haven’t beaten Fairfield Prep their whole career, so every seniors want this and the juniors realize the magnitude of this game.”

As for Wednesdays’ game vs. Ludlowe, Greenwich led 3-1 after the first quarter, then outscored the Falcons, 6-1, in the second to seize a 9-1 halftime lead. Effectively moving the ball against the Falcons’ zone, GHS scored on three of its first four possessions. Luke Finneran had a hat trick with an assist, Will Perry recorded a hat trick and James Tooher and Sam Saleeby tallied twice for the victors. Decker Curran added one goal and two assists and Ryan Flippin had three assists in the win.

“Ludlowe did a good job of running their zone, but we have seen the zone a lot this year,” GHS coach Scott Bulkley said. “We were able to find the areas to get good shots against their zone. For the most part, we were proficient in doing the things we needed to do.”

Tommy Rogan was strong in goal once again for Greenwich, making nine saves, several of which were from close in, and Mike Sullivan gave the team possession, winning 11 faceoffs. The game marked the 17th time in 20 games Greenwich has held a team to single digits in scoring. The only teams who have scored 10 or more goals against the Cardinals are Darien, which did so twice, and Fairfield Prep.

Wednesday’s matchup also marked the Cards’ first game without midfielder Kyle Foote – one of the squad’s leading scorers and most potent shooters. Foote tore his Achilles tendon in the Cardinals’ 11-6 loss to Darien in the FCIAC finals last Friday. He underwent successful surgery on Tuesday. Let’s hope Foote, who will play at Loyola next season, has a speedy recovery.

Here’s the game story of Greenwich’s win against Ludlowe:

Dave Fierro