Dynasties always fall.

Sometimes they die quickly, other times slowly. Sometimes they burst in a flame, other times they erode more slowly. However, the one characteristic is a defining moment.

Saturday was the defining moment in the fall of the Prep boys lacrosse dynasty.

The Jesuits lost to Cheshire in the Class L Finals in an unbelievably good game. It was their third loss to the Rams this year, and Prep's first state playoff loss since 2005.

"We've had a nice run as a program," Prep Head Coach Chris Smalkais said. "But eventually we're going to have to lose."

Prep used talent and experience to get to the state championship game, but that wasn't quite good enough against Cheshire on Saturday as the holes in the Jesuits' team were exposed by a faster, more organized Rams team.

"We got beaten by a high school lacrosse team that had a great season." Smalkais said.

It was one of those years up here where you could expect the unexpected, though. After all, in one four-day stretch Prep boys lacrosse, Darien girls lacrosse and Staples boys volleyball all lost their strangleholds on state dynasties.

Maybe it is a sign of parity, maybe it is a sign of reality setting in, but having behemoths fall is always interesting. To have this many mammoth programs lose in the states is especially interesting. Maybe we'll all look back at the spring season of 2010 as the season where a new guard takes over. Or maybe we'll look back at it as an outlier.

"You can't win every game," Smalkais said. "The sun will shine tomorrow and we'll continue on our way."

But when the sun shines tomorrow, the Jesuits will see this as a crossroads for all of their program. Prep graduated a fair amount of college lacrosse talent, including its two leading scorers, Brendan Rotanz and Griff McGoldrick. It loses its faceoff specialist, Darric White, its top defender Alex Matarazzo and its goaltender, Gil Long.

"We had a great class of kids," Smalkais said.

With that type of graduating talent, it'll be interesting to see how Prep rebounds. I'm sure Smalkais and his staff will make the most of the talent that they have coming back. But getting back to the top of the mountain, especially after showing some vulnerability, is not easy and the road down could be faster for Prep than the road back up.

After all, every great dynasty has had a great fall.