Fast start propels Fairfield Prep lacrosse team to easy win over rival Cheshire
Facing one of its biggest SCC rivals, and dealing with a self-proclaimed "hard day," the Fairfield Prep boys lacrosse team looked for a fast start in its game on Tuesday.
And a first-quarter offensive surge is exactly what the Jesuits got.
Prep scored seven first-quarter goals, two of which came on a two-minute man advantage, en route to a 13-5 victory over Cheshire at Alumni Field.
"We got after it," Brown said. "We moved the ball well and finished our chances."
Prep decided to play despite the death of junior student Bradley Helt. Helt, a Westport resident, died unexpectedly on Monday night.
"It was definitely a hard day," Brown said.
"We asked our kids if they wanted to play and they said they would play in honor of their fallen brother," Smalkais said. "We played very inspired."
Prep outscored Cheshire in every quarter except the fourth, as the Jesuits beat the Rams -- their chief conference adversary -- for the fourth consecutive time. Prep improved to 3-0.
"We're pretty excited," Prep coach Chris Smalkais said. "Any time you get to play well against a team like Cheshire, it makes you feel good about yourself."
Cheshire senior midfielder Spencer Hackett scored two goals. The Rams committed five penalties as they fell for the first time this season.
"You can't make mistakes and take penalties against this team and expect to win," Cheshire coach Rich Pulisciano said. "I'm disappointed that we didn't play better in the first half."
Prep's inspiration showed from the outset as the Jesuits potted three goals in the first 8:11, capitalizing on Cheshire turnovers. Brown's jump shot and White's try off a rebound helped Prep build an early 3-0 advantage.
"You can't get yourself buried like that," Pulisiciano said.
After Cheshire's senior defender Nick Palladino was shipped off for a two-minute, unreleasable penalty, Prep took a commanding 5-0 lead, with Brown and senior Jack Arrix each tallying man-up goals.
"Our man-up is pretty efficient because of the creativity of our players," Smalkais said. "We allow them to be flexible and make good decisions."
Sims and Brown scored goals nine seconds apart at the end of the frame, lifting the Jesuits to a 7-0 lead after one. Prep held a 9-1 advantage at halftime.
"We played as a team," Brown said. "We stuck together when we needed to."