Weston's defense bent, but it not break as it avenged last year's finals heartbreaker by defeating the St. Joseph Cadets, 7-6, to take the Class S Boys lacrosse state championship at Brien McMahon High School in Norwalk. The defense came up huge for the Trojans as they held off one last furious Cadets attack.
St. Joseph got off one last shot with five seconds to play, but it was blocked in front of the net, setting off a wild celebration on the Weston bench and a Gatorade bath for first-year head coach John Mathews.
"I'm so excited for them," Mathews said. "They had a bad taste in their mouth when they lost to this same team on the same field by one goal. I'm so happy they had a chance to redeem themselves."
Weston senior attacker Morgan Faller scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal with 8:54 to play in the 4th quarter on a nifty pass from sophomore Lyle Mitchell. The goal, Faller's second of the game, put Weston up 7-4. St. Joseph's answered with two quick goals, however, setting up the nail-biting finish.
"Our defense has been the backbone of this team all year," Faller said. "Everybody stepped up huge. To step like that in the last few minutes of the state championship game it's amazing."
After St. Joseph jumped out to 3-1 lead to start the game, Weston stormed back with five unanswered goals, including two from senior Charlie Smith. Weston also battled through penalty trouble with eight players taking a knee in the box during the game. Overcoming that adversity and finishing the way they did made the victory even sweeter for coach Mathews.
"I'm just so happy for Alex [Peyreigne] and the rest of the seniors," Mathews said. "The defense really dug deep. St. Joseph has a really good offense. I'm happy for them."
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