Fairfield Prep's boys soccer team fulfilled two of its three goals in 2011.

The Jesuits were the Southern Connecticut Conference's Quinnipiac Division champions, then followed that with the conference championship. Prep finished 14-1-7.

Despite losing only once -- in the Class LL quarterfinals to eventual state champion Pomperaug -- Prep knows it may have surprised squads a year ago.

"There are a lot of good teams out there," Prep assistant coach Tim Dee said. "When you're 6-0-5, it doesn't look that impressive."

But falling two games short of the state championship was eye-opening for Prep, and Dee believes it is important for 2012.

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"If we had played a little better (against Pomperaug), who knows?" Dee said. "I'm not saying we'd have won, but who knows?"

Flying below the radar isn't an option in 2012, fortunately for Prep, it returns many of its 2011 starters, including goalkeeper Will Steiner. Steiner pitched 15 shutouts a year ago.

Pat Connelly, Ryan Orvis and Tim Frassetto will try to keep opponents off the board. Dee and Jesuits head coach Ryan Lyddy share a defensive-minded strategy aimed at winning low-scoring games.

"We have three or four guys who have been there for four years," Dee said. "(Defense) is kind of what we thrive on."

Austin Sims and Stephen Tortora will be Prep's primary goal scorers, with midfielder and captain David Bruton also back for a full season. Bruton missed much of 2011 with a knee injury, but scored Prep's SCC-title-clinching goal against Notre Dame-West Haven.

Dee believes Prep's cohesion is a strength, and believes that trait will help it be successful.

"They've played together a lot and they grasp the team concept," he said. "They get what it takes to be successful."

Dee and Lyddy enter their third year as coaches for Prep, and they also appreciate how important it is to be flexible.

"We both try to learn and watch ways we can improve ourselves," Dee said. "We can adapt more to what we need to do in practices and in games."

With all the pieces in place, Prep will keep those same aims.

"We want to win our division, win the conference and win states," Dee said. "Same focus as last year."

ppickens@bcnnew.com; twitter.com/Pat_Pickens