swc boys lacrosse Barlow stays alive
MONROE — An overtime loss here on Tuesday left Barlow out of the state boys lacrosse tournament, so there was only one thing left to do Thursday night at Benedict Field.
The Falcons kept their season going with a 17-6, going-away win over Masuk in the SWC quarterfinals.
“It’s a statement game. Every game we go to, we try to win and make a statement game,” Barlow senior defender Kevin Richetelli said.
The fifth-seeded Falcons (7-10) dominated the third quarter, forcing Masuk turnovers seemingly every trip down the field. Barlow outscored fourth-seeded Masuk 11-1 in the second half.
It follows an unusual regular season: This will be the first CIAC tournament without Barlow since 2000. Masuk’s 6-5 overtime win Tuesday earned the Panthers this home game in the SWC tournament and kept the Falcons from the seventh regular-season win they needed to qualify in Class M.
“The loss on Tuesday was extremely disappointing. Terry (Stroz, Masuk’s coach) does an awesome job with his kids,” Barlow coach John Distler said. “They’re well-coached. I didn’t think we played terribly well, and we didn’t score enough goals — obviously. They played a really good game, and they beat us.
“We know we’re a better team, so our intention was to come here today and do what we did.”
Barlow’s reward will likely be a date with top-seeded New Fairfield (16-1), the No. 5 team in the state and defending conference and Class M champion, in the semifinals Tuesday night on the road. The Rebels met eighth-seeded Brookfield on Thursday night
That’s fine. They’ve kept the season going.
“It was just a fun group of guys to play with,” Richetelli said.
“It just comes down to playing for your boys, really, just having fun with the guys. That’s what sports is about. That’s what lacrosse is about. That’s what the season’s about.”
Richetelli was one of several Falcons defenders forcing turnovers in the second half. That let seniors Henry Shaban, Andrew Powell and Tyler Starrett go to work in the offensive end.
And junior Colby Powers controlled faceoffs and scored three of his four goals straight off draws.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Henry Shaban paced the Barlow offense with six goals and two assists.
DESPITE ALL THAT
If Thursday’s second half was rough, the Panthers probably earned themselves two postseason home games with their regular season.
“The kids have worked hard,” Stroz said. “We’ve got a strong back line. The goalie (Chris Tillotson) is unbelievable. The past couple of weeks, they’ve bought into what we’ve been trying to do, like last year. At the end of the year, we’re starting to click.”
The Panthers have done it with a young team, only four seniors dotting the roster. It was enough on Tuesday, not Thursday.
“To get 12 wins, I don’t care who you are, you get 12 wins, it’s 12 wins,” Stroz said. “I only have one senior on the offensive side of the ball. For who we’re playing with, we’ve done a good job.”
“Coach always tells us, it comes down to team D, then position D, and then you can do takeaway checks. That’s the last. We were playing well as a team. It came down to footwork, and after that we were all good.” —Barlow defender Kevin Richetelli
BARLOW 17, MASUK 6
BARLOW3 3 5 6—17
MASUK3 2 0 1— 6
Records: Barlow 7-10; Masuk 12-5. Scoring: B—Henry Shaban 6 goals, 2 assists, Andrew Powell 2g, 4a, Tyler Starrett 4g, 1a, Colby Powers 4g, Will Katts 1g, Harry Falowski 1a; M—Evan LaGuardia 2g, Garrett Lazor 1g, Jack Nugent 1g, John Bennett 1g, Quinn Braddick 1g, Ryan Saccu 1a, Jordan Beckett 1a. Goalies: B—Alec Wilson (4 saves), Ben Devine (4); M—Chris Tillotson (6). Shots: B—29; M—22.