The West Haven boys lacrosse team snapped a mini skid, topping Sheehan, 6-5, last Wednesday evening at Sheehan High in Wallingford. With the win, West Haven stopped a two-game losing streak and improved to 6-5 on the year.
Nick Massaro and Logan Cole led the way for West Haven as Massaro had two goals and two assists, and Cole added two goals. Niko Kyle also added a pair of assists, while Kevin Moriarty made 33 saves.
In what was a close game throughout, West Haven recorded the difference in the second quarter, outscoring the Titans 2-1. Every other quarter was evenly played on the field and on the scoreboard, but West Haven was able to score the winner in the final quarter.
“Sheehan is a good team,” West Haven coach Patrick Reed said. “They were 7-3 and had just beaten Lyman Hall 8-3. They are a team that beat up on us pretty good 15-6. Before the game, our kids were getting ready and they looked over at the other team and realized that they hadn’t really started warming up yet. Our guys came together and said they aren’t taking us seriously, and it’s time to show them that is a mistake.
“Like us, Sheehan’s top face off guy was hurt. Thankfully, Shea Sheffield stepped up and had an awesome night winning a lot of key possessions. In a 6-5 game, every faceoff and possession matter a ton.”
Trailing 1-0, Massaro set up Ed Leavitt with 6:29 left in the first quarter, before Massaro scored 28 seconds later off an assist from Kyle for a 2-1 advantage.
Trailing 3-2 in the second quarter, Kyle set up Massaro for the equalizer with 5:37 to go, before Cole scored off an assist from Rich Wadeka two minutes later for a 4-3 advantage.
“Offensively, Logan Cole stepped up huge,” Reed said. “He had two goals, one even strength and one on man up, but he also played LSM (long stick mid) and had a ton of defensive clears for us.
“Halfway through the game, we switched things up at attack and put Tyler Moscato in there. That would prove to be huge. (Kevin Moriarty) Mort heaved the ball 50 yards and Tyler was able to get the ground ball and out run his defender and score the game winner.”
With the game even at four in the fourth quarter, Massaro set up Cole with the go-ahead goal with 4:47 to go. Moriarty then found Moscato who raced up the field and scored with 2:58 left for a 6-4 advantage.
“What can we say about Mort,?” Reed said. “He allowed five goals and had 33 saves. He had the assist on the game winning goal. He gets better every day and the team really rallies around him.
“We played Sheehan in a preseason scrimmage and they scored a bunch on us. Our defense has really come together, even with Matt Dowd and Dan Kelly out. Nick Camara and Steve Moran have been the anchors, but new guys Trevor Basta, Jonah Basilicato and Nate Smith, who was playing his first varsity time, all came up huge. Honestly the best part of this season for me so far is how these guys have come together as teammates off the field. They are so positive and encouraging to each other. Seeing the brotherhood they are developing is my favorite part.”
Close games were a theme for the Westies this week. Sensing a thrilling comeback victory, the Westies just could not hold on. Scoring twice in the final 36 seconds of regulation, Windsor rallied to stun West Haven Saturday afternoon in Windsor.
West Haven (6-6) took a 9-8 lead with 2:15 remaining in regulation on a goal by Rich Wadeka off an assist from Tyler Moscato, but Windsor evened the game with 36 seconds left and won with 6.1 seconds to go.
“It was a really tough loss,” Reed said. “Nick Camara took a shot to the chest. All of us were obviously distracted. But, Nick Massaro really stepped up and helped bring us back. Then, Rich Wadeka gave us a lead with two minutes left on a great play. He outran two players and beat their goalie.”
In the offensive battle, Kyle led West Haven with three goals and an assist, Massaro finished with two goals and three assists, and Wadeka had a goal and two assists. Moriarty finished with 26 saves in the loss.
The Westies scored the first two goals of the game, taking a 1-0 lead on Kyle’s goal off an assist from Massaro 1:34 in. Ed Leavitt scored off an assist from Wadeka for a 2-0 advantage, before Windsor evened the contest.
Matt Dowd put West Haven on top with 6:28 left in the opening quarter off an assist from Leavitt, before Windsor scored the next four goals for a 6-3 lead.
The Westies got within 6-5 in the final 5:47 of the first half when Massaro set up Moscato for a goal, and Massaro found Kyle with 2:14 left in the half.
The Westies trailed 7-5, but Kyle scored off an assist from Logan Cole and Massaro evened the contest with 3:59 left in the third.
Wadeka set up Massaro for the equalizer with 4:48 to go, before Wadelka put the Westies on top with 2:15 remaining.
After a hard fought, one goal loss against Windsor on Saturday, the Westies needed just two days to flip the script. Behind three goals and four assists from Niko Kyle, West Haven defeated Hamden 10-9 at Ken Strong Stadium Monday evening.
Massaro also had a big day as he scored four times and added an assist, while Dowd and Moscato each added a goal and an assist. Moriarty was again stellar in goal, finishing with 30 saves, including 15 in the fourth quarter.
Trailing 1-0 in the opening quarter, West Haven scored the next three goals for a 3-1 lead after one quarter of play. Massaro got the equalizer when he scored off an assist from Moscato with 5 minutes, 40 seconds left in the quarter, before Kyle set up Moscato 38 seconds later, and Massaro scored off an assist from Camara with less than a second to go.
Hamden bounced back to score the first two goals of the second quarter, before Kyle scored off an assist from Massaro with 4;33 remaining for a 4-3 advantage. The Green Dragons rallied to score the next two goals and West Haven trailed 5-4 at the half.
Dowd set the tone for the rest of the game as he evened the contest at five just 1:25 into the third. After Hamden took a 6-5 lead 1:24 later, Massaro scored the equalizer off an assist from Kyle with 7:44 remaining.
Just 51 seconds later, Massaro scored again off an assist from Dowd, and Cole gave West Haven an 8-6 lead with 2:29 left in the third. Kyle’s unassisted tally with 1:16 left in the quarter sent the Westies to the fourth ahead 9-6.
Hamden opened the fourth with two goals in 34 seconds, the latter with 6:22 left in the game to cut the deficit to 9-8.
Any momentum Hamden had disappeared 41 seconds later when Kyle scored off an assist from Moriarty.
Moriarty sealed the deal with 15 saves in the final quarter.
For all of your West Haven sporting news, including game articles, photos, videos, statistics and more, visit www.westieblue.com.