Foran-Stratford renew rivalry

Foran High boys lacrosse coach Brian Adkins expected his team would take its share of lumps, as the second-year program began playing at the varsity level this spring.

But the veteran coach also knew that with a deep lineup and some experienced players on board, the Lions would be able to hold their own against a good number of opponents.

And when you’re meeting a team that over the years has been a pretty heated rival, your team generally rises to the occasion.

That’s exactly what happened Monday night when the Lions took to the surface at Penders Field to take on Stratford High, a school now competing in its fifth varsity season.

After battling the Red Devils basically even and trailing by just a goal, 6-5, at halftime, Stratford eventually went on to a 10-7 victory, its third of the season against six losses while Foran’s record dipped to 3-6.

The winners were led by two players. Drew Cerrone had eight goals and an assist. His fellow attacker Connor Bodington had a goal and seven assists.

“The difference tonight was in ground balls,” said Adkins, who had previously coached at Branford before taking over at Foran. “They got far more than we did. In a lot of ways, they outworked us.

“If you’re looking at this from a coaching perspective, I’ll have to take the blame. We need to be a little better prepared for games like this. We’re playing at night and playing on what’s pretty much a new, artificial field.”

The Lions are deep with 44 players on their roster and were led in scoring by Alex Eager, who had three goals. David McLenithan, Will Vitelli, Jonathan DePascale and Drew Perani added one goal each.

Perani had a pair of assists with DePascale getting one.

Zack White made 14 saves in goal for Foran.

The Lions have a mix on attack of Eager, a junior, with DePascale, a sophomore and Perani, a junior.

Vitelli, a junior, plays in the midfield along with Paul Mirmina, yet another junior, and McLenithan, a sophomore.

The Lions primarily used junior Andrew Jones on defense along with juniors Ben Lavallee and Andy Khan and sophomore Tim Orozco.

White, a junior, played the entire game in goal.

Cerrone’s sixth goal of the game, which came just 39 seconds into the third period, gave Stratford a 7-5 lead at the time, but Eager put a shot in just inside the right post at 3:12, making it a one-goal game again.

A goal by Bodington (at exactly the second-minute mark) and another by Cerrone (his seventh) made it 9-6 heading into the final 12 minutes.

Each team scored only one goal in the fourth quarter.

“We were looking to create a little more of a possession game by then,” Stratford coach Dave Cochran said. “Having never played them on the varsity level before, we really didn’t know what to expect coming into this game. What we did was look at their record and who they played and judged it from there.”

Perani had six goals and two assists and Eager two goals and seven assists to lead Foran to a 17-8 victory over Wilbur Cross of New Haven on April 25.

DePascale had four goals and an assist, Vitelli three goals and Mirmina and Dan Murray had a goal each.

McLenithan and Jake Lambert had assists to back White (eight saves) and Gabe Scott (two saves).

Foran will host Hamden High at 7 p.m. on Monday.