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Rams Outlast Wilton in Quarterfinals

Two great rivals met in the FCIAC boy’s lacrosse quarterfinals Saturday afternoon, and the resulting game was exciting, as would be expected. In the end, though,  host New Canaan ended up with the 12-8 win over Wilton, benefiting from a fourth-quarter surge and foul trouble by the Warriors.

The score was tight for much of the game, with neither team leading by more than two goals for the first three quarters. Wilton built up a series of one- and two-goal leads, but the Rams answered each time, ending the third quarter with an 8-8 tie. Although they were never far behind, New Canaan did not lead the game until early in the fourth. But after Henry Eschricht’s fast-break score gave the Rams a 9-8 lead, they refused to let it go.

“I just told them, you’ve got a 12-minute game…like it’s 0-0,” Rams head coach Alex Whitten said about his pre-fourth quarter speech to his team. “We just needed to execute. The team that tires the quickest is going to have their fundamentals expire.”

Senior captain Cody Newton gave the Rams some breathing room with two goals in a span of 43 seconds, pushing the lead to 11-8. Both teams played aggressively to close the game, but Wilton was whistled for some key  fouls in the fourth quarter, much to the dismay of Warriors fans in the stands. Wilton goalie Devyn Jeffereis kept the Warriors in the game with some impressive play, but the Rams’ defense late in the game preserved the lead.

Wilton head coach John Wiseman told his team after the game that they “had nothing to be ashamed of” after Saturday’s game. He gave credit to the Rams for their win, but still likes his team’s chances in the rest of the postseason. “You saw a very good lacrosse game by two quality teams, who both could contend for a state championship,” Wiseman said.

The Rams’ next matchup will be against No. 7 seed St. Joseph Tuesday at Brien McMahon High School in Norwalk. The Cadets upset No. 2 Staples Saturday afternoon to advance to the conference semifinals.

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