Grizzlies Playing Solid Lacrosse in Bounceback Season
Following a 2021 season in which it won just three games, the Guilford boys’ lacrosse team is back with a vengeance this year. The Grizzlies are standing with a record of 6-5 on the season after winning two of their three home games last week.
Guilford took a loss to McMahon before rebounding with victories versus Shelton and Waterford in last week’s contests. Head Coach Brian White said that he feels proud of the Grizzlies for the strides that they’ve made this season.
“As a team, we have had a number of challenging games that our players have responded well to overall. We have a number of dedicated kids that want to see this team return to the SCC and State playoffs,” Coach White said. “We have our struggles, just like any other team, but our guys are always willing to rebound and react well to setbacks. We have yet to play our best this season, but the coaches are looking forward to our boys reaching their potential.”
Guilford started off last week by taking a 6-2 defeat against McMahon in a non-conference home game. Two days later, the Grizzlies hosted SCC opponent Shelton defeated the Gaels by a 12-1 score at Guilford High School. Coach White felt that the victory marked a strong performance for this squad.
“We played sound team defense,” said White. “And we were able to move the ball effectively in transition and settled situations on offense.”
The Grizzlies finished their week by earning a 4-3 home win over Waterford in non-conference action on May 7. Waterford had only lost two games all season entering its matchup with Guilford. Junior Will Petrick scored 2 goals for Guilford in the victory. Sophomore Andrew Brysh and freshman Ryan Gribbon both scored 1 goal.
“This was another low-scoring game that we struggled through with players missing due to injury and illness,” White said. “But overall, our defense anchored us all of the way, and we had another strong performance at the face-off.”
Coach White feels pleased with how his team has performed throughout the season. The Grizzlies have continually played better as the campaign has progressed, and White is hoping that their best play is yet to come.
“This is a fun group to coach,” said White. “I’m hoping we continue to have success and we are able to playoffs for both our league and the state tournament.”
Guilford is being led by its senior captains Sean Mandel and Harrison Loyd. Mandel is a defender for the Grizzlies, while Loyd plays the goalkeeper position.
“Our captains have been fantastic for us this season in Sean and Harrison,” Coach White said. “We have also had great success at our face-off with junior Liam Alberti. Overall, our seniors and juniors have been doing a good job anchoring this team and providing it with opportunities to win games.”
Coach White felt that Guilford made a statement when the team faced Amity at home earlier in the season. The Grizzlies were down 7-0 to open the game, but came back to claim a 13-11 victory over the Spartans on April 14.
“Coming back from a 7-0 first-quarter deficit to beat a good Amity team was awesome,” said White. “That was one of our best wins this season.”
Guilford’s senior class for the 2022 season also features Kyle Brainerd, Connor DeBoda, Rion Barbetti, Ali Sabea, Aidan Donohue, Brennan Sinoway, and Nathan Pompano. The Grizzlies’ juniors corps additionally includes Jacob Schlessel, Rence Jewett, Sean Filley, Mahoney James, Jack Jardine, Alex Ortiz, Nicholas Gangemi, Ryan Franchi, Chase Tibere, Ryan Knickerbocker, Eric Lawton, Luke Carignan, Fred Bonz, Luke Burrell, Ryan McMahon, and Matt Wrynn.
“I want to make sure we continue to give our players the best chance to have success,” White said. “Our success starts with our upperclassmen and captains.”
Guilford’s sophomore class also features Julian Schlessel, Tyler Hilgert, Brady Raffone, Brady Hallihan, Gordon Chen, Matthew Konareski, Braden DePetris, Jacob Corso, and Jackson Skoczylas. The Grizzlies’ freshman class also includes Jonah Labbadia-Colon, Owen Pelletier-Stephens, Jack Shae, Pierce Pappert, Orion Carney, Logan Shay, John Coombe, Jack McDonald, Charlie Pirri, Ben Lamarche, Elijah McDermott, Quinn Iaccarino, Gabriel Kendrick, Garrett Mace, Evan Arteaga, and Nathan Ponzio.