By Mike Kelly
(June 6, 2022) —The Shoreline Conference Champion Haddam Killingworth High School Boys Varsity Lacrosse team kept their magical season alive on Saturday, June 4, 2022, winning their second game of the Class S 2022 state tournament, beating the number one seeded Waterford Lancers. With the win, the Cougars advance to the final four of the state championship, the furthest an HK boys lacrosse program has ever progressed. As was the case with the game against Tolland, the HK “Shoreline steel curtain” defense was a marvel to behold, completely disrupting the normally high-flying attack of the Lancers. The Cougars never trailed in the game. Braden Civiello was again masterful in goal, LSM Jack Insalaco shut down Waterford’s primary scoring option, and D-poles Matteo Piacenti, Sam Young and Aidan Griswold stifled the rest.
Early in the first quarter, senior attackman Corey Phipps put HK on the board, rolling from X and finding net from above the right post, 1-0 HK. Waterford answered at the 4:54 mark, 1-1. The brothers Phipps then teamed up again, with Alex finding Corey for the score, 2-1 HK advantage. The Lancers again responded to tie things 2-2. With only seconds left in the first period A. Phipps fired in a low-to-low burner from 20 yards above the center of the crease to beat the clock, 3-2 HK.
In the second period, Waterford again knotted the game with 9:11 on the clock, 3-3. Nolan Braren then got free above the right crease and banged one in of two posts, 4-3 HK. Minutes later A. Phipps found Braren open again, from virtually the same spot and the same result, 5-3 HK.
With 4:59 left in the second the Lancers began clawing back, scoring a quickie, then tying things at the 3:38 mark, 5-5. Braren then fired home another with a wicked low-to-low sidearm, assist from Gunnar Howes, 6-5 HK. The Cougars had momentum. With just seconds left in the first half, the relentless HK defense forced a turnover behind the Lancers cage that led to a fast break. D-pole Piacenti jarred the ball lose at X, skipped it to middie Cooper Pitts who then raced upfield, dished it to C. Phipps who then found Howes on the doorstep, 7-5 HK at the half.
In the third quarter, with the Lancers goalie sidelined for a penalty, the Cougars scored another, with Howes again feeding Braren, 8-5 HK.
In the fourth period Waterford inched closer, scoring at the 10:33 mark, but it would not be enough. HK shut the door a few minutes later to close things out, when Charlie Maxwell fed C. Phipps above the top left post, 9-6 HK, final. Weston awaits in the semi-finals. Do you believe in miracles? I know 18 young men from HK who do.
Photos by Liz Griswold