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Darien’s Henry West led eight former FCIAC laxers in NCAA D1 tourney

Former Darien High School lacrosse star Henry West had a very good senior season as a 6-foot, 180-pound midfielder for the University of Maryland men’s lacrosse team that advanced to the championship game of the 2016 NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Tournament and lost a 14-13 overtime thriller to North Carolina on Memorial Day at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.

West had two goals and a team-high four assists to help the Terrapins rally back from an early 4-0 deficit in the championship. He scored his first goal to cut the deficit to 4-2 with 7:25 remaining in the first quarter and he netted his second goal with 5:51 remaining in the first half to trim North Carolina’s lead to 7-6.

West was one of eight former FCIAC players on the rosters of three of the Final Four teams. The champion Tar Heels were the lone team without a former FCIAC player.

The Terrapins finished 17-3 to establish a new record for most wins in a season and they won their 16th game in a row when they advanced to the championship with a 15-14 overtime victory over Brown in the semifinals on May 28 at Lincoln Financial Field. West scored a pair of goals in that semifinal victory.

Brown went on a 6-1 run to take a 7-5 lead in the second quarter before West netted the goal that pulled the Terps into a 7-7 tie. West later scored his second goal to stake Maryland to a 14-10 lead with 9:33 left in the fourth quarter before Brown rallied with the last four goals of regulation to force the overtime that was ended when Colin Heacock scored the goal to give Maryland the sudden victory.

West started in all 20 games and was Maryland’s sixth leading scorer with 28 points on 17 goals and 11 assists. As a key contributor to that continuous Darien High School dynasty, West was a three-time All-FCIAC selection, a two-time All-State selection, and he helped the Blue Wave win back-to-back state championships in 2009 and ’10 and the FCIAC championship in 2011.

Among West’s Maryland teammates was former Ridgefield High School star Will Bonaporte, a 5-10, 185-pound sophomore midfielder who played in 17 games and won 80-of-175 faceoffs as Maryland’s second best faceoff man. Bonaporte twice made All-FCIAC First Team and All-State First Team and helped lead Ridgefield to a state championship in 2011.

Former Wilton star Ted Ottens and former Ridgefield star Nick Esemplare were on the roster for Brown, which finished 16-3.

Ottens, a 5-foot-10, 175-pound midfielder was Brown’s No. 2 faceoff man. He played in 18 games, won 80-of-137 faceoffs for a solid .584 faceoffs won percentage, he was seventh on the team with his 29 ground balls, and he had two assists. Ottens was selected All-FCIAC First Team and All-State First Team two years in a row (2012 and ’13) and he was a high school All-American in 2013 when he helped lead the Warriors to the Class M state championship.

Esemplare, a 5-foot-11 sophomore attack, has not see action yet as he has dealt with concussion issues early in his college career. He was a team captain at Ridgefield High who received All-FCIAC, All-State, All-American and Academic All-American honors.

North Carolina advanced to the championship with an 18-13 victory over a Loyola-Maryland team that had four former FCIAC stars. Greenwich High School graduates Graham Savio and Kyle Foote, Lucas Jackson from Staples High and Paul Volante of Ridgefield High were all on the Loyola-Maryland roster.

Savio, a 5-foot-9, 180-pound junior faceoff/midfielder, played in all 18 games for the 14-4 Greyhounds. He was the team’s main faceoff man, winning won 53 percent of the faceoffs (169-of-320), and Savio also snatched 77 ground balls to lead the team in that category for the second straight year.

Jackson, a 5-foot-11, 180-pounder, and Volante, a 6-foot-2, 180-pounder, were both freshman defensemen, Foote was a 6-foot-3, 190-pound sophomore midfielder and those three all played in three games.


Former Darien Blue Waver Henry West in action for the Maryland Terrapins this year. — Maryland Athletics photo

Former Darien Blue Waver Henry West in action for the Maryland Terrapins this year. — Maryland Athletics photo

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