MILFORD — Cheshire’s bid to return to a CIAC boys lacrosse championship game died one stop shy of the destination on Wednesday night.
The Rams, seeded No. 1 in Class M, lost in the semifinals to No. 4 Wilton, 14-6, on the neutral turf of Jonathan Law.
Up 3-2 after one quarter, the Warriors broke it open by outscoring the Rams 5-1 in the second, including four straight goals in a span of five minutes.
Cheshire senior Jason Raba broke the run, but the Warriors wrested back momentum with a goal 30 seconds before halftime and, coming out of the break, zipped off three unanswered to push the gap to 11-3.
The Rams made one last surge late in the third quarter and into the opening minutes of the fourth. They pulled to within 11-6 on a pair of goals by Raba and one by sophomore Matt Jeffery only to see Wilton close with the last three strikes of the night.
And so down came the curtain one scene sooner than expected for a team that went 14-2 in the regular season and pieced together two separate seven-game winning streaks.
Cheshire was looking for its fourth appearance in a CIAC boys lax final. The Rams captured crowns in 2002 and 2010 with one-goal wins over Glastonbury and Fairfield Prep. The lost in 2017 to Darien.
With Wednesday’s defeat, coach Mike Devine and the Rams closed the books on 2022 at 17-4.
Wilton improved to 16-3 and advances to face another SCC squad, No. 10 Notre Dame-West Haven (15-6), in the Class M final on Sunday at Sacred Heart University at 12:30 p.m. ND knocked off No. 3 East Catholic 11-5 in Wednesday’s first semi at Jonathan Law.
Charles Johnson led Wilton against Cheshire with six goals and one assist. Johnson was twice set up by Michael Wall, who scored three goals of his own.
Raba scored four of Cheshire’s six goals. Jeffery and Andrew Benjamin had the others. Jeffery added two assists. Charles Kurtz and Ben Thompson had one apiece.