Barlow boys lacrosse team set to face Masuk in Class M first round
REDDING — The first time they met, the Joel Barlow and Masuk high school boys lacrosse teams played a hard-fought, closely contested game which Barlow won by three goals.
Although six weeks have since passed, Barlow is expecting a similar battle when it visits Masuk on Wednesday for a first-round clash in the Class M state tournament.
The 10th-seeded Falcons defeated the 23rd-seeded Norwich Tech/Windham Tech co-op 26-2 in the qualifying round Saturday to set up another match with Masuk, which earned the seventh seed and was spared having to play a qualifying-round game.
“We know it’s going to get a lot harder from here, so we have to keep practicing and stay humble,” Barlow sophomore Colby Powers said. “The last time we played (Masuk), we didn’t really play our best, but if we can keep playing like we have for the last week or so, I think we can come out with a win.”
After falling to undefeated New Fairfield in the South-West Conference semifinals on Thursday, the Falcons are determined to make some noise in the state tournament. Of course, if they do go all the way to the championship game, there’s a chance they could again see New Fairfield, now the two-time defending SWC champion and the top seed in the Class M tournament.
“Everybody always says that, once you get into the playoffs, it’s a different season, so we’ll see what happens,” Barlow coach John Distler said. “Our goal would be to make it to the final. If we play well, maybe we could play New Fairfield again. New Fairfield is very good, but I’m willing to give it another shot.”
First things first, Barlow will need to get past Masuk, which it defeated 10-7 on April 12.
BY THE NUMBERS
Evan Socha and Jordan Balogh each scored a goal for Norwich/Windham (6-9), and goalie Cole Ochialini made nine saves.
For Barlow (12-7), Powers scored five goals, Dakota Koopman had three goals and three assists and Tyler Larkin had three goals and two assists. Danny Molinaro had a goal and five assists, and John Bunce, Cal Peterson, Will Katts and Harry Falowski each scored two goals, with Katts adding an assist. Goalies Alec Wilson and Ben Devine combined for seven saves.
BUILDING A FOUNDATION
The Norwich/Windham co-op has is in its third season and has played in a state tournament qualifying-round game each of the last two seasons.
“We’ve got a lot of kids who are working hard, but we are trying to develop a lot of basic skills,” first-year coach Mark Farnsworth said. “We have some kids who played club lacrosse, but most of the kids are just coming from the schools. They work hard, and it’s great to have kids like that in the program.”
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BARLOW 26, NORWICH TECH/WINDHAM TECH 2
Class M, qualifying round
NORWICH TECH/WINDHAM TECH1 0 1 0 — 2
BARLOW13 5 4 4 — 26
Records: Norwich Tech/Windham Tech 6-9; Barlow 12-7. Scoring: NW—Evan Socha 1 goal; Jordan Balogh 1g. Ba—John Bunce 2g; Tyler Starrett 1g; Danny Molinaro 1g, 5a; Cal Peterson 2g; Grant LaGaipa 1a; Aiden DiMiceli 1g, 1a; Will Katts 2g, 1a; Colby Powers 4g; Harry Falowski 2g; Charlie Wilson 1g; Dakota Koopman 3g, 3a; Will Reed 1g; Alex Stillman 1g; Harrison Cremin 1a; Tyler Larkin 3g, 2a. Goalies: NW—Cole Ochialini (9 saves); Ba—Alec Wilson (5), Ben Devine (2). Shots: NW—10; Ba—30.