STONINGTON — The Stonington High boys’ lacrosse team lacked its usual depth of talent this season, but the Bears’ frontline players excelled as was reflected by the team’s postseason award harvest.
Two Bears — junior midfielder Jack Riordan and sophomore attacker Will Iorio — made Class S All-State second team. They joined six other teammates on the 24-player ECC-Small Division first team.
“We had a lot of players who deserved recognition and got it on the ECC level,” Stonington coach Bob Iorio said. “If we had advanced farther in the states, some players might have improved their All-State position.”
The Bears posted a 9-8 record (6-2 ECC-Small) and ran into some hard luck this season. Stonington lost a number of close games, including a 10-8 loss to eventual ECC tournament champ East Lyme, and a 12-11 loss to Old Lyme in the Class S state tournament opening round.
The Bears also lost a tie-breaker in a three-way tie for the third and fourth slots in the ECC tournament and did not qualify.
Riordan and Iorio still ascended to All-State recognition as underclassmen. Riordan scored 57 goals and added 30 assists for 87 points at midfield. Iorio led the Bears with 102 points on 49 goals and 53 assists.
“Jack is an outstanding athlete, a workhorse and the type of physical player you see in college,” Iorio said. “He is incredibly fit, strong and competitive.”
Riordan was an ECC-Small honorable mention midfielder as a sophomore.
Iorio also made ECC-Small honorable mention as a freshman in 2013. This season, he was one of six attackers selected to the first team. He completed his first two seasons with 100 career assists, No. 2 in school history. He also notched eight assists in one game, the second highest single-game total in program history.
Iorio will attend prep school next fall at the Christ School in Arden, N.C. Coach Iorio is also leaving Stonington, moving to North Carolina to become a Christ School assistant lacrosse coach.
“Will is a versatile player who can use his left or right hand,” coach Iorio said. “He sees the field well and is an outstanding feeder.”
Iorio trailed only senior Zach Poirier on the Bears’ career assist list. Poirier, who compiled 25 goals and 40 assists this year to give him 143 career assists, made ECC-Small first team as a midfielder. He made the ECC first team and Class S All-State first team as an attacker last season. Poirier did not make All-State this season.
“Zach is the most coachable kid I’ve ever been associated with,” Iorio said. “He sacrificed personal statistics for the good of the team. He doesn’t care about individual honors, he just wants to play. We used him at midfield this year because we needed an athlete there to give us balance. He was capable of contributing heavily on offense and defense, but his biggest contributions came on scooping groundballs. He was one of the state’s leaders there.”
Riordan and Poirier were two of six ECC-Small first-team midfielders. Both players also excelled in football last fall during the Bears’ ECC Medium Division championship season. Poirier was a Class S All-State and ECC-Medium first-team running back. Riordan made ECC-Medium first team at linebacker.
Junior Tyler Grills joined Iorio as one of six ECC-Small first-team attackers. Grills scored 62 goals to break Austin Gibney’s school record of 60 goals in a season set in 2002.
Grills, who also added 19 assists, is No. 3 on the all-time career goal list with 116. Last season, he was an ECC-Small first- team attacker.
“Tyler is a superb finisher and moves extremely well off the ball,” Iorio said. “He anchored our offense. We would have been lost without him.”
Senior Drew Morse was one of six ECC-Small first- team defenders. He made divisional honorable mention as a long-stick midfielder last season.
“He switched positions and continued to play at a high level,” Iorio said. “He has the frame of a defenseman and is an outstanding cover guy.”
Senior Cole Curtis was one of two ECC-Small first- team goalkeepers. The Bears allowed just 138 goals in 17 games (8.2 a game) and posted three shutouts.
“Cole backed up an All-State second-team goalkeeper last year, so for him to step in as a first-year starter and do such a wonderful job, it shows what a superb shot stopper he was,” Iorio said.
Sophomore Jonah Roberts made ECC-Small first team as a long-stick midfielder. Though he scored four goals, Roberts’ biggest contributions came on the defensive end.
“Jonah is a great athlete who can run all day,” Iorio said. “He had scoring ability but he was a key defender. He had the skills and versatility to play anywhere.”
Senior Dan DeDominicus was selected to the ECC-Small first team as a short-stick midfielder. DeDominicus scored one goal, but his value to the team came during faceoff draws after goals.
“Securing possession is the key to winning lacrosse,” Iorio said. “His faceoff winning percentage of 64 ranked with the best in the state.”
Senior Conor Fergusonmade the ECC-Small sportsmanship team.