Weston boys lacrosse wins 2nd straight state title, tops Northwest Catholic for Class S crown

FAIRFIELD — While his friends and classmates at Weston celebrated a boys lacrosse championship last year, Rowan Bradshaw-Mack wasn’t around.

This time around, the big sophomore’s presence at the top of the crease was huge.

While his teammates missed the net in the first half Sunday at Sacred Heart, Bradshaw-Mack buried five of his six goals before halftime. The Trojans rolled in the second half to a 16-3 win over Northwest Catholic in the CIAC Class S boys lacrosse championship game.

“I was just not playing lacrosse, just hanging out,” Bradshaw-Mack said. “I don’t know, it just didn’t cross my mind. This year, I felt like I wanted to play lacrosse.”

His older brother, Grey, was a Weston defender and went on to play at Wesleyan, so Weston coach Josh Thornton had an idea what he might be getting.

“It’s a nice surprise when you get a 6-6 attackman back, but he’s got great hands,” Thornton said.

“It took him a little while. He wasn’t an all-state, all-conference player, but a lot of that is because he just needed to find his way and find some confidence.”

Bradshaw-Mack scored Weston’s first five goals. The Trojans led 6-2 at halftime before Renzo Garone scored three in a row in a little over three minutes to start the second half.

“We were taking a lot of shots” in the first half, Garone said, “a lot of them missing the cage, a lot of them hitting the (goalie, Hunter Willcox) in the chest.”

The Trojans had a 34-13 shots edge at halftime, but only 13 of those 34 shots were on target; Willcox made seven of his 15 saves in the first half.

“We knew our matchups were good,” Garone said. “We wanted to keep that going, get dialed in in the second half and finish our shots.”

Weston (19-4), the fifth seed, won a CIAC title for the fifth time overall and the second year in a row. It was the Class M champion last year before being moved to Class S this season.

“First time in Weston lacrosse history, back-to-back,” Garone said. “It’s special.”

Seventh-seeded Northwest Catholic, making its first appearance in a CIAC final, finishes 17-5. It won the CCC South tournament before making this run.

“We were extremely blessed and fortunate to be here,” Lions coach Scott Kossbiel said. “We started coming together really closely around early May, ripped off a bunch of wins.

“We were actually down in every playoff game we played this year,” he added. “The guys clawed back and won every game but today.”

Garone, Will Harris and Nick Possick had four points apiece for Weston.

John Staunton, one of three all-conference sophomores, scored two of Northwest Catholic’s three goals.

Player of the Game

Sophomore attackman Rowan Bradshaw-Mack scored Weston’s first five goals and finished with six.

Quotable

“I’m just really happy for these guys to get to experience it. It’s an indescribable feeling. I’ve been part of it as a player and a coach, but these guys are on cloud nine. I’m really happy for them.” —Weston coach Josh Thornton

mfornabaio@ctpost.com; @fornabaioctp

Weston 16, Northwest Catholic 3

NWC         0 2 1 0—3
WESTON  3 3 5 5—16

Records: Northwest Catholic 17-5; Weston 19-4. Scoring: NWC—John Staunton 2 goals, Michael Kuziak 2 assists, Brady Brennan 2g, Pat Meuser 1a; W—Rowan Bradshaw-Mack 6g, Renzo Garone 3g 1a, Nick Possick 3g 1a, Will Harris 2g 2a, Nic Bilbao 1g 2a Henry Katz 2a, Anderson Orr 1g, Hayden Bilfield 1a. Goalies: NWC—Hunter Willcox (15 saves); W—Will Pocsik (9). Shots: NWC—26; W—56.