DARIEN, Conn. The best players find a way to get the ball in the biggest moments. Case Matheis of Darien High showed why ESPN ranks him as the top high school lacrosse player in the country as he netted the go-ahead goal against rival Wilton with 3:26 to play en route to a 10-8 victory.
After Wilton battled back from a two-goal deficit to tie the game at 8-8, Matheis broke from behind the net and was fed a quick pass by Tim Murphy. The senior captain leaped in the air and whipped his shot past Wiltons goalie in the right corner for the go-ahead score.
For Matheis, the victory was sweet revenge after sitting out last years state semifinal with a knee injury . I talked about that with the guys in my pregame speech, he said. One of the things that kept me going through my rehab process was knowing that Id get another shot at Wilton.
Matheis put Darien ahead, but it was sophomore phenom goalie Phil Huffard who secured the win by stopping 18 Wilton shots. Seven of those saves came in a furious second quarter in which Wilton dominated possession but could not solve the Blue Wave net-minder.
Wilton had several chances to tie again, but two crucial passes deep in Darien territory went astray late in the game. Matheis netted an insurance goal, his fourth of the evening, with 27 seconds left.
This will probably not be the last time Darien takes on Wilton this season. Its a battle every time with them. It just seems to get higher and higher intensity every time, Matheis said. It really had a playoff atmosphere tonight.
Darien got two goals each from Kevin Seiler and Henry West. Jon Magnusson and Bobby Weaver also scored for the Blue Wave.
Darien (4-0) will host the California state champions, Torrey Pines, on Saturday at noon.
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