By Mike Kelly
In decisive fashion, the defending 2021 Shoreline Conference Champion Haddam Killingworth High School Cougars Boys Lacrosse team defeated conference foe Cromwell 13-1 on Thursday evening, May 12, 2022. With the victory, the Cougars pushed their season record to a gaudy 12-1, solidifying their standing as the team everyone in the Shoreline Conference is trying to beat.
HK appeared somewhat flat to begin the game. Perhaps the warm weather contributed to their lethargy. Senior Corey Phipps, who would go on to have a monster night, got the scoring started for the Cougars, 1-0 HK. Early in the second quarter Cromwell somehow eked out a goal against the steel curtain, tying the game 1-1. Perhaps that’s what the HK squad needed for motivation. From that point forward it was all Cougars.
Midway through the second, Nolan Braren fed Gunnar Howes above the right post for the overhand stepdown, 2-1 HK. Moments later d-pole Matteo Piacenti took one coast-to-coast, 3-1 HK. G. Howes then fed C. Phipps, who danced from GLE and popped one into the top right corner of the cage, 4-1 HK. Just before halftime, attackman Aaron McLeod found C. Phipps again cutting above the left side of the crease, 5-1 HK. The wheels were coming off for the visiting Panthers.
In the third quarter C. Phipps intercepted a lazy pass in front of the Cromwell cage and found net, 6-1 HK. A. McLeod then fired one in from the left side of the crease, 7-1 HK. A minute later it was a “third time’s the charm” moment for C. Phipps, who grabbed two missed rebounds before finishing with the third, 8-1 HK. Then, following a loose ball scramble in front of the crease, C. Phipps hustled and tallied another goal, 9-1 HK. Then, late in the period, C. Phipps struck again for his seventh goal of the night, this time dancing and firing from above the right post, 10-1 HK.
Before it was over G. Howes would score two more of his own for the hat trick, 12-1 HK. And last, but certainly not least, utility reliever, d-pole and middie, the Swiss Army Knife that is Nate Kelly, got in on the scoring action as well. Kelly closed things out for the victorious Cougars with a nice shot on the doorstep, 13-1 HK. Final.
Photos by Liz Griswold