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Welcome to the New Haven Register high school sports blog where our talented staff of Chris Hunn, Joe Morelli, Dan Nowak and Mike Pucci will keep you up to date on everything to do with high school sports in Connecticut. Mike Pucci's Gridiron Glory blog for high school football remains. We hope you enjoy and feel free to join in the conversation.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Lacrosse: Boys' and girls' CIAC pairings released

The CIAC released its boys’ and girls’ lacrosse pairings this morning and while the final girls’ seedings gave favorable placements to No. 2 Hand in Class M and No. 2 Cheshire in Class L, the scheduling gods weren’t so kind to the defending Class L champion Cheshire boys.
The Cheshire boys team will face Fairfield Prep today in the SCC tournament championship at Branford at 3 p.m. The Rams, 8-8 in the regular season, drew the No. 17 seed and will have to play at Danbury in a qualifying round game on Saturday at noon. Win that game and the Rams advance to the first round where it will face host and No. 1 seed Newtown.
While the Rams have been playing its best lacrosse of the season lately and have the talent to win those games, playing back-to-back games is a very tough way to start a tournament.
Fairfield Prep drew the No. 4 seed and will host the Southington-Westhill qualifying round winner on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. Other top teams in L are No. 2 Staples, No. 5 Glastonbury, No. 12 Greenwich and No. 8 Simsbury
No. 1 seed Darien, which is also ranked No. 1 in the Register Top 10 poll, should take no prisoners in Class M for its seventh straight championship. No. 16 Notre Dame-West Haven has the unenviable task of facing host Darien in the first round on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.
Other local teams with a shot to go far are No. 10 Hand, who has one of the state’s best face-off specialists with Casey Dowd, and No. 13 Guilford.
Somers drew the No. 1 seed in Class S but defending champion and No. 5 seed Weston is the team to beat with Ledyard and Barlow also challengers for the title.
In the girls’ tournament, which goes from a Division I-II format to a Class L-M-S format this season, Hand and Cheshire have a solid opportunity to finally make some state tournament noise.
The Tigers have never made it to a final since the CIAC has sanctioned the tournament in 2004 but they are in a position to turn that around. First, Hand is the No. 2 seed and gets home-field advantage at least through the quarterfinals. Second, Hand gets a great schedule break competing in the lower bracket. Since 2004, No. 1 Wilton, No. 8 New Canaan and No. 13 Darien have won six of the last seven D-I titles. All three of those teams are in the M upper bracket. Hand has a great shot to get to its first final.
Like Hand, Cheshire has never been to a CIAC final but like Hand in M, Cheshire has been put in a position to go far in Class L. The Rams are the No. 2 seed and have home-field advantage at least through the quarterfinals. Like Hand in M, Cheshire is in the lower bracket and three of the toughest teams in L are in the upper bracket – No. 1 Newtown, No. 4 Staples and No. 5 Glastonbury.
In Class S, Haddam-Killingworth, which ended the regular season 15-1 to earn the coveted No. 1 seed, gets a first round bye and then plays host to the Morgan-Immaculate winner in the quarterfinals on June 6. No. 5 Weston and No. 7 Granby are other top challengers in S.

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