The regular season for boys’ lacrosse coach Jim May and the members of the Hornets team ended on a high note when they defeated West Haven 14-9 on Senior Night last month. It was their fifth win out of their last six regularly scheduled games.. That successful stretch earned the Hornets a spot in the state tournament in the Class M division.
“If your team was going to play in the upcoming state tournament, it would be much better going in when you’re winning then when you’re losing,” said Coach Jim May. And that’s what the Branford Hornets did as the regular season came to a close.
Since April 30, when they defeated the Hamden Green Dragons 17-7, through the last regular season game against the West Haven Blue Devils, the Hornets won all their games except for a close 13-12 defeat by the Foran Lions on May 14. Starting with the Hamden game, they then defeated Morgan 16-8, Law 22-12, Lyman Hall 15-6, and West Haven to finish the regular season with a 9-7 record to qualify for the tournament.
Against West Haven, Junior Rob Lionetti (pictured) scored six goals against West Haven to lead the Hornets. He was followed by Matt Potter with three and one each by Jack Manware, Pat Candela, and Mike White, who also led the team with three assists. Goalie Anders Brown had nine saves for the Hornets
Branford jumped out to a 4-1 lead after one quarter. The Hornets never trailed although the Blue Devils stayed close. Both teams scored three goals apiece in the second, and Branford outscored the Devils 4-3 in the third and 3-2 in the fourth for the victory.
In their qualifying round game in the states, Branford went on to defeat SCC opponent Jonathan Law for the second time in three weeks, 18-13, to advance to the next round. That’s where the season ended for the Hornets who were handily defeated by the no. 2 ranked Waterford Lancers 18-6. The Hornets finished with a 10-8 record.
In the Law game, Lionetti set a school record for the most goals and most points in a game in Branford lacrosse history. He had 11 goals and three assists for 14 points in that game. Add to that he had six goals in the West Haven game, giving him an amazing two game total of 17 goals and 20 points.
“We played pretty well as a team the last part of the season and Rob (Lionetti) was lighting it up for us,” said Coach Jim May of his scoring leader. “His performances the last few games have been nothing short of sensational. I’m really glad he’s only a junior.”