Darien, led by a record-breaking performance from sophomore attackman Case Matheis, made it six Class M titles in a row. Fairfield Prep was denied in its bid for a fifth straight Class L title, falling for the third time this season to Cheshire. And Weston avenged for a loss to St. Joseph-Trumbull in last year’s Class C title game by winning the teams’ rematch.
We have recaps of all of yesterday’s games, but first, let’s take a look at the celebrations by the three class champions after their big wins at Brien McMahon High School in Norwalk.
Class L: Cheshire
Class M: Darien
Class S: Weston
CIAC championship reviews
By Ed Boulat
Cheshire 9, Fairfield Prep 8
Fairfield Prep had a significant edge in shots, but simply couldnt find the back of the net enough to erase 3-2 first quarter and 5-3 halftime deficits. Cheshire used a crucial 4-0 third-quarter run to dethrone the five-time defending state champion Jesuits. Fairfield Prep made a late fourth quarter charge, outscoring Cheshire 3-0 in the period and scoring twice in the last 50 seconds of the game, but Cheshire goalie Nathan Gaudio made a few key point-blank saves to secure the win.
The victorious Rams were paced by seniors Michael Jordan and Nicholas Carisio, who each had three goals, and sophomore John Cunningham, who added five groundballs. Fairfield Preps Brendan Rotanz and John McGoldrick also each had three goals. Fairfield Prep had a first-quarter goal disallowed because of an illegal shift. Cheshire has now beaten Fairfield Prep three times this season.
Im so pumped right now, said Jordan, a senior, after the game. After they beat us three times in a row last year, just to do it this year, its an amazing feeling. We kept our composure and we never got down on ourselves. This game was just so much fun.
Darien 17, New Fairfield 5
Behind an impressive offensive display and a record-breaking performance by sophomore Case Matheis, Darien cruised past New Fairfield 17-5 for its sixth straight Class M state title. After New Fairfield scored the opening goal of the game, Matheis scored the last four goals of the first period, handing the Blue Wave a 6-2 lead that would only expand as the game went on.
The speedy sophomore scored three more times in the second quarter, and ended the contest with nine goals and three assists, breaking John Boltons school record for most goals in a game of eight, set last year.
When New Fairfield did get a hold of the ball, Dariens defense was never far, harassing and crowding the Rebel players all game. New Fairfield only scored once in the second and third quarters. Dariens senior Brian Gleason was the perfect complimentary player to Matheis, adding three goals and three assists. New Fairfield was led by senior Andy Scalesi, who had two goals and six groundballs.
This is unbelievable, Matheis said. Six straight, I cant say anything more, its awesome. Games like these only happen once in a while. My shots were just falling and I was getting great passes from my teammates.
Weston 7, St. Joseph-Trumbull 6
Weston scored three unanswered goals in the second period to overcome a 3-2 first-quarter deficit and avenge a loss to St. Joes in last years Class S state championship final, holding on for a 7-6 victory. (St. Joe’s beat Weston 12-11 in last year’s final.)
Junior Mike Marini scored for St. Joes with a little over five minutes left in the game to cut the Weston lead to one goal, but the Cadets couldnt convert on a few different opportunities in the closing seconds to send the game into overtime.
Weston senior Morgan Faller, headed to Marist next year, recovered from a broken heel that forced him to miss several games last week to score twice. Classmate Charles Smith also had two goals. Marini led St. Josephs with two goals and one assist, while senior Curtis McKeon collected six groundballs.
Its amazing, said Weston senior defenseman Tucker Drimal, who had a team-high five groundballs in the championship game. Its been too long. After two years of being runners-up, its a great feeling. It was a little too close for comfort at the end, but we put in a zone a few weeks ago and it really worked for us. This is magical.
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