A week of firsts for St. Paul lacrosse programs as state tournaments begin

This is a week of firsts for the St. Paul lacrosse programs.
The state tournament begins Tuesday, and the Falcon girls will play in their first-ever postseason game, a Class S matchup against next door neighbor Lewis Mills. The first round clash between the No. 8 and 9 seeds starts at 3:45 p.m. at Lewis Mills in Burilngton.
On Wednesday, top-seeded St. Paul boys lacrosse hosts its first-ever state tournament home game against No. 17 Tolland at 6:30 p.m. on McPhee Field. The Falcons had a first round bye after winning their first Western Connecticut Lacrosse Conference championship.
Here’s a little more about each contest:

No. 9 St. Paul girls at No. 8 Lewis Mills

St. Paul girls lacrosse during halftime of a regular season game.
(Copyright, Sports on CT-69)

There’s plenty in common for these neighbors. WCLC affiliation and 11-5 regular season records for starters.
The Falcons and Spartans split their regular season meetings, which happened within a three-day span. Lewis Mills won 11-10 in Burlington on May 2, then St. Paul took a 7-6 victory in Bristol on May 4. The teams tied each other in scoring at 17-17. There’s a good chance the state tournament matchup will again be close.
Oh yeah, and each team had three All-WCLC choices. For St. Paul, it was Emma Cretella, Catherine Ciampi and Greta Panke. For Lewis Mills, it was Wictoria Galicka, Ella Kowalec and Kathleen Keegan.

No. 1 St. Paul boys vs. No. 17 Tolland

Connor Bogdanski during St. Paul’s WCLC championship win
over Lewis Mills. (Copyright, Sports on CT-69, file)

The Eagles and Falcons didn’t face each other during the regular season. Tolland was 6-8 in the regular season, then defeated No. 16 Montville 11-6 in a Class S qualifying round game on Saturday.
The Eagles returned All-CCC South Region performers Trevor Boutot, Dillon D’Amato and Aidan D’Amato from last year’s team. Boutot is a senior, Dillon D’Amato is a junior and Aidan D’Amato is a sophomore. Tolland reached the state tournament after going just 4-12 in 2016 and 2017. It’s the first state appearance for the Eagles since 2015, when they won a Class S qualifying round game against Holy Cross before losing in the first round.
St. Paul had eight players on the All-WCLC team this season. They are Kevin Ashworth, Brycen Kennedy, Tucker Raymond, John Ivers, Chris Dionne, Connor Bogdanski, Damien Rabis and David Harrold. Harrold is out for the season with a broken leg and will be missed, but those other seven played key roles in the WCLC title run.