Spartans get early jump in win over Gaels

The Shelton High boys lacrosse team found out early that it’s all too easy to fall into the trap when playing against Amity High when the SCC rivals met in Woodbridge on May 22.

One of the top 10 Class L squads in the state, the Spartans like to play possession, run their offensive sets, and look for good scoring opportunities.

Playing on an already-wet field and under extreme over-cast conditions, the Spartans had the ball for all but eight seconds in the first quarter while scoring five goals and taking 10 shots.

They took a 5-0 lead into the game’s second 12 minutes and wound up winning, 12-4, on Senior Day.

The Gaels saw their regular season end with a 9-7 record, a four-game improvement over 2013. In addition, Shelton will compete in the upcoming Class L tournament.

“Other than that first quarter, I liked the way we competed today,” Shelton coach Matt Read said. “We hustled, we were physical, and we scored some goals. Those are all good signs. I’m really proud of my guys.”

Kyle Drost scored for Shelton at 9:39 of the second session making it a 5-1 game. It was Drost’s 15th goal of the season, and he also has 16 assists for 31 points second best on the team.

Amity (13-3) came right back. With Brad Uscilla scoring the second of his team-leading four goals and with David Buono netting a goal, the Spartans went up, 7-1.

Shelton’s Jesse Lopez then beat Amity netminder James Chapman with 4:57 remaining and the Gaels headed into halftime down, 7-2.

Goals by Brad Uscilla (his third) and John Uscilla expanded Amity’s lead to 9-2 a little before the midway point of the third quarter.

The Gaels’ Chris Schiffer and Nick Sinko then sandwiched goals around one from the Spartans’ Joe Choiniere, as the home team took a 10-4 lead into the fourth quarter.

Over the closing 12 minutes, Brad Uscilla got his fourth goal (at 9:10) and Steve Sember’s tally with 1:26 remaining created the final outcome.

The Spartans won the shot battle, 31-17. Shelton’s freshman goalie, Tim Schiffer, brother of Chris, made eight saves and Chapman corralled six. Shelton drew six penalties to two for Amity.

The Spartans will lose 17 seniors from a team that is first going on to the SCC tournament and then to the states.

“Obviously, those first 12 minutes hurt us,” Read said. “You can’t allow a team like Amity to either control the offense or continuously win face-offs like they did. That pretty much cemented the win for them right there.”

Read feels that it’s been a good year for his team.

“We’re going to lose 12 very good players and either five or six of them start for us,” he said.