Lenskold saves help Wilton boys lacrosse past Staples, to face Darien in FCIAC championship game

NORWALK — Staples knew the caliber of goalie that Wilton had in its net Tuesday night. The Wreckers wanted to come out fast and not let Colin Lenskold get any momentum in net for the Warriors.

Lenskold stopped 12 of 16 Staples shots on target in the first half of the teams’ FCIAC boys lacrosse semifinal at Jack Casagrande Field, in large part the difference in Wilton’s 7-6 win.

“I think Colin’s the best goalie in the state,” said Wilton midfielder Grant Masterson, who played his first game back from a knee injury. “Every single game, he balls. He sees everything. He’s a great leader out there commanding the defense and the defensive middies.”

Lenskold finished with 14 saves as Wilton avenged a blowout loss to Staples in the same round of last year’s conference tournament.

“We thought we had a real chance last year,” Lenskold said. “To get blown out like that set the tone. Then in states, losing to (Fairfield) Prep. We took a big chip on our shoulders into this year.

“To run it back against Staples in the semifinals, beating them is extra special, but we still have a job to finish.”

The FCIAC final is here Thursday night at 7. Wilton will face top-seeded and defending champion Darien (16-2), ranked first in the GameTimeCT Top 10 Poll. The Blue Wave beat fifth-seeded, seventh-ranked Greenwich 8-5 in the late semifinal.

The third-seeded, third-ranked Warriors and second-seeded, second-ranked Staples are both 15-3.

Lenskold had five saves Tuesday before Wilton had a real possession. Staples’ lead was just 1-0.

“We feel a lot of confidence in our offense,” Staples coach Will Koshansky said, “and their goalie made some really awesome saves that won them that game.”

Staples only led once more, 5-4, on defender Michael Nealon’s goal early in the second half.

Wilton scored the next three goals to take the game’s only two-goal lead, and Staples mustered only seven more shots.

“We have a lot of pride in ourselves. We want to be the best every time out there,” Lenskold said about Wilton’s defense. “We talk well with each other. We all around want the best for each other.”

Lenskold, said coach Steve Pearsall, has been locked in since the fall, let alone the start of the season.

“He didn’t play a fall sport. The other captains are football players,” Pearsall said. “He was really the glue keeping everyone together while the other kids were playing football.

“He’s had maybe one bad half all year. I can’t say enough about what he means for our team.”


Wilton’s Utah-bound senior goalie Colin Lenskold had a dozen saves at halftime.


Masterson, playing his first game since early in the season, said he had cleanup surgery on “a little knee injury,” a minor meniscus tear, about three weeks ago. The senior midfielder scored two goals, playing strictly offense.

“No pain. I felt ready to play, ready to contribute, ready to help the team,” Masterson said.

The Warriors, though, lost junior middie Caleb Rath in the first quarter, not long after he gave Wilton a 2-1 lead.

“We’ll see if we can get him back; not sure,” Pearsall said.

“Grant, it was his second time on the field in a long, long time; he practiced yesterday. Obviously he needs to get his legs under him.”


Greenwich was two goals away from having Darien right where it wanted the Blue Wave: The Cardinals scored a late tying goal both in their regular-season finale against Darien (a double-OT Blue Wave win) and in the FCIAC quarters against Ridgefield (a Greenwich overtime win).

Darien led 8-2 early in the third quarter on Tuesday night, but Greenwich (12-6) pushed back.

“There’s no quit. There’s no quit,” Greenwich coach Bobby Lutz said. “If you look at teams in the past, especially against a team like Darien, they just bury teams away. These guys just wouldn’t let that happen.”

Darien took advantage of its opportunities to build a first-quarter lead. Greenwich scored early in the second quarter to cut the lead to 3-2, but Darien scored off Tighe Cummiskey’s faceoff win.

Cam Weibel made a couple of big saves in the fourth to keep Darien in control.

“There were some really good bright spots. Against a zone, we had shots,” Darien coach Jeff Brameier said. “I think their goalie (Charlie Zola) played well; so did ours. Defensively, we played a great game. Tighe did a good job at faceoff.”

The CIAC tournament brackets come out Thursday, and the Blue Wave and Cardinals could be a potential Class L quarterfinal if they both get there.


“A game like this, there’s a lot of nerves coming in, but getting those first few shots and making a few saves early set the tone. The team settled in well in the second half and got the job done.” —Lenskold

mfornabaio@ctpost.com; @fornabaioctp


WILTON 2 2 3 0—7

STAPLES 1 3 1 1—6

Records: Wilton 15-3; Staples 15-3. Scoring: W—Charlie Johnson 2 goals 1 assist, Grant Masterson 2g, Caleb Rath 1g, Sean Wiseman 1g, Charlie Rath 1g; S—Charlie Howard 3g 1a, Ryan Thompson 1g 1a, Derek Sale 1g, Michael Nealon 1g, Tyler Clark 1a. Goalies: W—Colin Lenskold (14 saves); S—Josh Marcus (7). Shots: W—26; S—30.


GREENWICH1 1 1 2—5

DARIEN3 4 1 0—8

Records: Greenwich 12-6; Darien 16-2. Scoring: G—Bryce Metalios 2 goals, Brian Collins 2g, Quinn Warwick 2 assists, Flynn Milledge 1g, James Pilc 1a; D—Brady Pokorny 4g, Matt Minicus 3g, Christian Alliegro 1g 1a, Tighe Cummiskey 2a, Finn Pokorny 1a. Goalies: G—Charlie Zola (10 saves); D—Cam Weibel (9). Shots: G—27; D—29.