The CIAC released the pairings for the boys lacrosse state tournaments on Thursday morning, unveiling the path to a championship for three area teams, and for two of those teams, the road could lead through each other.
In the Class S tournament, St. Paul, with a regular season record of 8-8 earned the No. 13 seed and will travel to take on tournament No. 4-seed Ellington on Wednesday at 5 p.m. The Knights compiled a record of 12-4 in the regular season but lost two of their last four games. The Falcons are in the same half of the bracket as No. 1-seed Somers and would have to face the Spartans in the semifinal round, if both teams advance that far.
St. Paul lost in the first round of the Class S tournament last season as the No. 10 seed, falling to No. 7-ranked North Branford 20-13 on the road. This is the Falcons’ second consecutive trip to the postseason.
In Class M, 12-4 Berlin earned the No. 6 ranking and await the result of one of Saturday’s qualifying games, which will feature another area team.
Newington finished with an 8-8 record, which was good enough for the No. 22 seed. The Indians will take on No. 11-ranked Daniel Hand on Saturday at noon with the hopes of advancing to face the Redcoats on Wednesday. Berlin and Newington met once in the regular season and the Redcoats took the win by a score of 9-3. The Indians did not see Daniel Hand this season.
Last season, Berlin had to play in the qualifying round as the No. 11 seed and beat No. 22-ranked Lyman Hall 19-6, only to fall in the first round to Daniel Hand, 19-4. This is the first time since 2013 that Newington has reached the postseason and its eight wins are the team’s most since 2012. The Redcoats and the Indians are in the half of the bracket that houses the No. 2 and 3 seeds, which are 13-2 North Haven and 13-3 Weston, respectively.
While three area teams qualified for the state tournaments, three teams did not. Southington missed out on the postseason festivities in Class L, earning only two wins in 16 games this season. In Class M, both Bristol Central and Bristol Eastern fell short of the cut, each winning just three games.
The Blue Knights reached the postseason in 2016 but only scored one goal in their first-round loss to Simsbury. The Lancers have not qualified for the state tournament in their three-year history and the Rams have not done it in their five seasons of play.
Josh Kestenbaum can be reached at 860-973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @K_baum30