RIDGEFIELD — No one has ever questioned whether Ridgefield freshman attack Ryan Colsey was in the starting lineup because he shared the same last name as the Tigers’ coach.
For one, Ryan Colsey is not the lone 9th grader with that status. Second, his play has rendered any thought of a discussion moot.
That was never more evident than the closing moments of tonight’s game against Staples. With the score tied, Colsey picked up a ball and in one motion finished a behind-the-back shot with 3:22 left that proved the deciding goal in a 5-4 win over the Wreckers.
Ryan Colsey’s description of the play was much less dramatic.
“It just rolled to me. Caught it. Behind the back,” Ryan Colsey said. “I practice it a lot in box lacrosse. It’s just natural at that point. The goalie was in front of my forward hand so I just shot it backhand.”
Colsey finished with two goals and two assists for the Tigers (7-1, 5-1 FCIAC). Colsey said the transition from being a fan of his father’s program to a solid contributor has been pretty seamless.
“It’s awesome,” Ryan Colsey said. “Definitely a faster-speeded game. It’s definitely a lot of fun playing for a team I grew up watching.”
Roy Colsey spoke as the gratified coach rather than parent after the game.
“He’s going to keep growing up,” Roy Colsey said. “I don’t think he’s in an easy position being the coach’s son, but I’m proud of him. I thought he played well today. He made the plays that we needed to make. Hopefully all my young guys each time they step on the field are going to get better. If they do that we will be in good shape.”
While Colsey provided the sparks, it was the defenses, and in particular the goaltenders, that stood out. In a strategic chess match with few chances, the Tigers’ Dan Parson and Wreckers’ Timmy Luciano were magnificent.
“Dan’s always great,” Roy Colsey said. “We’re really lucky. Dan’s the anchor and we can take some chances on defense a little bit and Dan can bail us out.”
Parson finished with six saves and helped hold the Wreckers (8-2, 6-2) scoreless for the final 30 minutes and 43 seconds as Ridgefield overcame a 4-2 deficit.
“You kind of know where it’s going in a game like this where it’s slow and could be first to five or six wins,” Parson said. “Once we got that fifth goal I knew we were probably going to throw the ball around. We didn’t need to score again. We just need stops. You’ve got to stay patient. Especially myself. You know you’re not going to get as many shots so you have to stay patient back there and the defense played great in front of me.”
Luciano was the star of the game. He finished with 12 saves and made a number of big ones early, denying the Tigers the chance to play with a lead.
“Timmy is a special player for us,” said Will Koshansky, the Wreckers’ first-year coach. “He’s played lights-out all year long. I think he may be the best goalie in the FCIAC. He’s playing at that level. He’s seeing the ball really well.”
Luciano’s highest praise came from the player with whom he traded great stops.
“He was phenomenal,” Parson said. “My hat’s off to him, he made all the saves he needed to and more. I just told our offensive guys just keep shooting and eventually they will go. I don’t think we got as many as we wanted but we got just enough.”
John Mathes staked Ridgefield to a 1-0 lead, but Kyle Hines and Max Eigen each scored twice as the Wreckers put up four of the next five goals.
Ryan Colsey scored midway through the third quarter and Ray Dearth converted a pass from Owen Gaydos to tie the game for Ridgefield.
“Great lacrosse game. We knew coming in that it was going to be a battle and every goal was going to matter,” Roy Colsey said. “I give my guys credit. His guys played really, really well and composed and made a lot of great plays. At the end of the day we made just one more good play late in the game.”
The Wreckers may have taken the loss, but they more than represented themselves well in their first game against an elite conference program.
“I’m sure there are a bunch of skeptics out there,” Koshansky said. “We’re focused on the guys in the locker room and winning each day. That’s kind of been our mindset. We didn’t win today but win tomorrow, win practice. Hopefully the results will follow and by the end of the season we will be where we want to be.”