Guilford Boys’ Lacrosse Nets First Two Wins of the Season
Senior Aedan McDermott and the Guilford boys’ lacrosse squad won two of their three games in last week’s action by defeating North Haven and Avon to go with a loss against Notre Dame-West Haven. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier)
Senior Ian Derda is one of the senior leaders on a young Grizzlies’ club that’s finding its stride on the field this spring. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier)
Junior Rion Barbetti netted three goals to help the Guilford boys’ lacrosse team notch its first victory of the season with a 14-7 win versus North Haven on May 3. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier)
Freshman Tyler Hilgert had a pair of goals for the Grizzles when they edged out Avon by a 5-4 score to cap off a winning week on the field. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier)
The Guilford boys’ lacrosse team is proving one of the most resilient squads in the Southern Connecticut Conference this spring. The Grizzlies lost their first six games of the year, but never lost hope and saw their persistence pay off with a couple of victories in recent action.
Guilford earned a 14-7 win versus North Haven, took an 11-10 loss to Notre Dame-West Haven, and then claimed a 5-4 victory over Avon in last week’s matchups. Guilford now has a record of 2-7 in a season that’s seen the team take three defeats by a single goal.
Even with some ups and downs, Head Coach Brian White knows what his team is capable of and feels confident that the Grizzlies can finish their season strong.
“We play a difficult schedule—one of, if not the hardest, I’ve had here in 16 years. Our players are doing anything and everything we can to be competitive, and it definitely shows on the field,” White said. “Our record does not accurately reflect the talent on our team, but that unfortunately is how it goes with sports sometimes. We have a number of one-goal losses to teams that are ranked in the top 20 in the state and would easily be competitive with teams that hold better records against lesser opponents.”
Guilford started off last week by earning its first win of the season with a 14-7 home victory against North Haven on May 3. Senior midfielder Aedan McDermott led the charge for the Grizzlies by scoring four goals in the win. Junior attacker Rion Barbetti scored three goals, while senior midfielder Ian Derda, senior attacker Thomas Ring, and sophomore Matt Wrynn each scored two goals. Sophomore attacker Jack Jardine added a goal for Coach White’s club.
“We are trying to play as competitively as we can,” said White. “We realize our schedule has been difficult and our results have not been favorable, but our players continue to push themselves hard daily. As a coach, that is all you can ask for.”
Two days later, Guilford squared off with Notre Dame-West Haven for a road game. On a rainy afternoon, the Grizzlies lost to the Green Knights by an 11-10 score at Veteran’s Stadium. Jardine netted four goals for Guilford in the loss. McDermott scored three goals, Derda had two goals, and freshman midfielder Tyler Hilgert also scored a goal.
The Grizzlies finished their week on a triumphant note by scoring a 5-4 home victory over Avon at Kavanaugh Field on May 8. Wrynn and Hilgert both scored two goals for Guilford, which also received a goal from McDermott.
Coach White knows that it was important for Guilford to put a couple of wins on the board last week. Although his club got out to a tough start, White is viewing the positive side of the equation.
“Our future is bright, and there are a number of positives to be taken from this season,” White said. “All in all, I am grateful that we had an opportunity to play with all of the doubt around our season. Clearly, it is not the results we wanted to start, but we are grateful to be playing.”
Guilford is being led by senior captain defender Jackson Tandler this year. Coach White also credited McDermott, Derda, and junior goalkeeper Harry Loyd for being key components for the Grizzlies. White is enjoying the experience of working with all of his players this season.
“I’ve been coaching for 16 years. I enjoy building relationships with student-athletes and tracking their progress through high school and at the next level,” said White. “Overall, there is just more to the game than results. Don’t get me wrong—I am as competitive as they come. But what lasts are the memories of and with the players.”
Coach White and his athletes appreciate the fact that they are on the lacrosse field this year after seeing the 2020 season get canceled. As his team enters the home stretch, White wants the Grizzlies to play every game like it’s their last.
“It always looms large that at any time, our season could come to an end. It does make the players appreciate what they have more and not lose sight of the fact that any game could be their last during the season,” White said. “Our team is young, and a number of them have never played a high school sport on any level, never mind at the varsity level. It’s been a learning experience, mixed with a harsh COVID reality.”
Guilford’s senior class for the 2021 season includes defender Jackson Tandler, who is the team’s captain, along with midfielders Aedan McDermott, Thomas Ring, and Ian Derda; and goalie Evan Chapman.
The Grizzles’ junior class features attacker Rion Barbetti; long stick middle Aidan Donahue; midfielders Ali Sabea, Brennan Sinoway, Jake Burrell, Nathan Pompano, and Connor DeBoda; defender Sean Mandel; and goalies Harry Loyd and Joseph Ehrlich.
Guilford’s sophomore corps includes attackers Jack Jardine, Matt Wrynn, and Charles Dacey; long stick middles Eric Lawton and Luke Burrell; midfielders Nicholas Gangemi, Tyler Filley, Connor Nizolek, William Petrick, Liam Alberti, Ryan Franchi, Ryan Knickerbocker, Frederick Bonz, Gabriel Mongelli, Noah Gilbert, Chase Tibere, Matthew Penna, Alex Ortiz, and Maxwell Lattanzi; defenders Ryan McMahon, Alejandro Colberg-Martinez, ames Mahoney, and Luke Carignan; and goalie Jacob Schlessel.
Guilford’s freshman class includes attackers Samuel Mayo, Matthew Konareski, Julian Schlessel, and Andrew Brysh; midfielders Tyler Hilgert, Braden DePetris, Brady Raffone, Christopher Gambardella, and Gordon Chen; and defenders Jackson Skoczylas and Jacob Corso.