The Shelton boys lacrosse team took on a powerful Xavier of Middletown squad on Friday at Edward Finn Stadium and couldn’t overcome a large first half deficit, as the Gaels fell by a 13-4 margin.
“You certainly don’t want to start out the season at 0-4,” said Shelton head coach Matt Read. “But the good part is the toughest part of our schedule is over. We now have a couple of winnable games ahead of us. If we can gain a little momentum we can turn this around.”
The Gaels have opened up against some tough foes, dropping matches to Cheshire, Amity and North Haven before Friday’s setback to the Falcons. Shelton faced a 6-0 deficit at halftime and chased that lead for the remainder of the game.
Xavier had its fair share of ground balls, allowing them to maintain possession and put pressure on the Shelton defense. Three quick goals to start the second quarter extended a 2-0 lead into a 5-0 advantage.
The Gaels had their opportunities, but five shots went wide of the cage. Shelton began to have trouble with its passes in close, as the hard-hitting Xavier defense took away some chances.
Just before the end of the half Xavier got one to go opening up a 6-0 lead at the break. Colin O’Donnell (three goals) and Colin McCarthy (two goals) did most of the damage.
Shelton was facing a 9-0 deficit when Kyle McGinnis got a pass over the middle to Jake Brighindi, and the shot found the back of the net to put the Gaels on the board with four minutes left in the third quarter.
With 7:51 to go in the game, Jack Gleason unloaded a blast in between the pipes for the second Shelton goal. Gleason scored again with under two minutes to play and McGinnis concluded the scoring on a 25-yard shot at the 1:45 mark.
The Gaels gear up for a showdown with Jonathan Law of Milford on Monday at Finn Stadium and finish up the week on Thursday at Sheehan-Wallingford and Saturday against West Haven at Ken Strong Stadium at 4.