Breaking down Foran High's lacrosse victory

The Foran High boys lacrosse team earned a 5-4 victory over West Haven High on April 10 at Ken Strong Stadium in an SCC matchup.

Ryan Manning scored the game-winning goal for the Lions (1-1) at 11:10 of the third quarter.

West Haven (1-1) pulled back within a goal following fourth-quarter markers from Justin Tuschoff and Walter Smith, but Foran, behind goaltender Joshua Teller, held off the Westies’ late charge.

“I thought we came out tonight and competed. Give West Haven a lot of credit, they competed,” Foran head coach Brian Adkins said. “This was a great game, in terms of being hard fought. Tuschoff and Conlan are definitely some underrated players in this conference.”

Sal Rosa, Jake Lambert, Joe Kliff and Steven Lynch netted the other goals for the Lions, who lost their season-opener to Pomperaug High of Southbury, 15-3 on Wednesday.

“I thought we could play better and we did play better,” Adkins said.

Tuschoff registered the game’s first chance in the opening period, before Rosa scored at 5:00 of the quarter to give Foran a 1-0 edge.

Rosa then set up Lambert at 1:01 of the second, with a stretch of sustained play in the Blue Devil zone resulting in a goal for Kliff at 7:58 to make it 3-0 Lions.

“Joe Kliff got a huge goal for us and Jake Lambert on attack did an amazing job for us,” Adkins said.

West Haven (1-1) battled back late in the half, as Devin Hines set up Tuschoff for a goal with 17 seconds left in the second quarter.

Conlan, a freshman midfielder, scored at 5:34 of the third quarter after a darting run through the Foran defense, narrowing the Westies’ gap to 3-2.

Foran responded though, with Lynch striking at 3:51 and Manning potting the game-winner, off an assist from Lambert, at 11:10.

Smith’s goal at 5:09 of the fourth quarter set up a tense finish, but the Lions clamped down defensively and saw out the game.

“I thought our defense and our goalie, Teller, really stepped up to the occasion tonight,” Adkins said. “They did an outstanding job for us. I’m proud of all these kids... We had to kill a two-minute penalty and our man-down unit did a great job. They were able to clear the ball and get the ball behind.”

Despite graduating 14 seniors from last year’s squad that qualified for the Class M state tournament, the Lions will look to make some noise in the Southern Connecticut Conference this spring.

“We graduated a lot of kids last year,” Adkins said. “We have a lot of kids out there for the first time playing varsity but we got some quality minutes out of some people.”

In the season-opening loss to Pomperaug in Southbury, Rosa, Lynch and Lance DiNatale scored the goals for the Lions. Lynch led the charge defensively with six groundballs and Teller made 17 saves in net.

Foran is home to Masuk High from Monroe on Saturday at 11 a.m. Shelton High visits Tuesday at 7 p.m.