(May 26, 2023) — The two-time defending Shoreline Conference Champion Haddam Killingworth High School Cougars Boys Varsity Lacrosse team are now THREE-TIME defending champions, after a decisive 7-4 victory on May 25, 2023, against North Branford in the Shoreline Conference Championship.
With the win the Cougars closed the circle on their magical season, redeeming themselves against the only team to beat them this year. HK finished with an overall record of 16-2, 12-2 in conference. The state tournament is next. The Cougars scored first when a shot from Freshman Spencer Savoy rebounded off the post and into the waiting stick of Senior Aaron McLeod, who quickly turned and fired home the winner, 1-0 HK. North Branford equalized on a fast break, 1-1.
At the start of the second quarter Senior Nolan Braren fired another shot that was corralled off the rebound; this time it was Savoy snagging the ricochet and punching it in, 2-1 HK. A few possessions later, Braren dodged down the right alley, backing down his defender and putting one just inside the left bar, 3-1 HK. Freshman Finn O’Hanlon blasted a rocket from 15 yards above center crease that found net, 4-1 HK. His goal delighted the throng of HK students on hand to support their team, as they teased the North Branford fanbase with a chant of “He’s just a freshman!” Just before halftime, North Branford scored another on a quick fast break, 4-2 HK.
Early in the third period LSM Jack Insalaco cleared to the box and found Savoy ten yards above the crease dead center for the strike, 5-2 HK. Later in the period O’Hanlon dodged down the right alley and let loose an overhead stepdown winner, 6-2 HK. At the start of the fourth North Branford capitalized on another fast break, 6-3 HK. Senior Alex Phipps responded, rolling from X and unleashing a low-to-low burner, 7-3 HK. North Branford scored a meaningless goal in garbage time for the final, 7-4 HK. But as the HK student section reminded them, it was “time to start the bus.” The Cougars were champions once more. The third time in as many years. Did somebody say dynasty?
(Photo above) The 2023 Shoreline Conference Boys Varsity Lacrosse Champion HK Cougars: Matthew Singer, Spencer Savoy, Gunnar Howes, Cooper Pitts, Aidan Spong, Alex Phipps, Ethan Pitts, Jake McKenzie, Kadan Lisitano-Rode, Braden Civiello, Finn O’Hanlon, Josh Frith, Collin Green, Alex Battistoni, Tyler Perry, Aiden Griswold, Nolan Braren, John Moyer, Jameson Conte, Charlie Maxwell, Aaron McLeod, Jack Insalaco, Nate Kelly
Photos by Liz Griswold