CIAC BOYS LACROSSE: In the end, smoky skies bring Rams home for the semis

CHESHIRE — After beating Joel Barlow 19-7 in the Class M quarterfinals last Saturday, the Cheshire boys lacrosse team thought it had played its last home game of the season.

Due to forces outside of their control, the Rams will get one more chance to play under the lights at Alumni Field.

For their state semifinal on Friday at 6 p.m., top-seeded Cheshire (17-3) will now host SCC rival and No. 4 Guilford (10-8).

The change is the result of the Canadian wildfires causing unhealthy air quality conditions on the East Coast. On Thursday, the CIAC, for the second day in a row, postponed the boys and girls lacrosse state semifinals.

The governing body consulted with medical and meteorological personnel in the decision.

“We are going to do whatever the CIAC says to keep the kids safe,” said Cheshire coach Mike Devine. “From our perspective, it also gives us two more days to get 2 percent better.”

CHS Athletic Director Steve Trifone also agreed with the move by CIAC.

“We’ve learned that there are some things that we can control and others things we can’t; weather is something we can’t control,” explained Trifone. “We also feel that the health of our athletes is very important. We want to keep everyone safe.”

The CIAC’s decision affected the location of the semis, which were scheduled for neutral sites. Since multiple facilities aren’t available Friday, the organization decided to have higher seeds host.

“They lost some sites due to graduation and other things, so they decided to keep things uniform and have higher seeds host the games,” said Trifone.

Scheduled to play in the afternoon at Xavier in Middletown, Cheshire will instead play Guilford on Friday in front of a home crowd.

“You like the neutral sites for the semifinals, but having a home game will be nice for us,” stated Trifone. “Cheshire and Guilford are both used to playing here.”

In the first meeting between the two teams on April 25, CHS won 14-4 at Guilford. Cheshire will carry a seven-game win streak into the rematch.

“Whenever you can play at home in front of your crowd and give your seniors another game, it adds excitement,” stated Devine.

With the semifinal changes, the lacrosse finals have also been impacted. If they win on Friday, the Rams will ply in the Class M final on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield.

Additionally, the CIAC announced that Individual Invitational Tournament tennis matches will be held indoors on Thursday (semifinals) and Friday (finals).

“I think that was a smart move, as well,” added Trifone. “You don’t have to worry about the weather now. You can play (inside) if it rains, too.”

Trifone is preparing for a busy Friday night. Along with CHS hosting a boys’ lacrosse semifinal, Cheshire boys volleyball (21-4) will pit its eight-match win streak against Masuk (20-4) in the Class M final at Sport and Medical Sciences Academy in Hartford.

Both contests begin at 6 p.m.

“It is tough to have them at the same time, but it is not a bad problem to have two teams still playing in the postseason,” stated Trifone.


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