WEST HAVEN — The Fairfield Prep boys lacrosse program is typically loaded with talent and depth season after season.
On Saturday in the Southern Connecticut Conference boys lacrosse championship, the Jesuits also showcased this season’s formidable speed and an aggressive defense that produced turnovers and ball possession.
Attackman Mason Reale was a perfect example, scoring four of the team’s first five goals. He ended up with five goals and an assist to lead No. 1 Fairfield Prep to a 13-7 win over No. 2 Guilford at Ken Strong Stadium. The Jesuits won their fourth straight SCC title and 15th title overall.
Ethan Grandolfo added three goals for the Jesuits and Finn O’Connor had eight saves.
“We worried about Guilford’s offense, so it was important to get off to a good start,” Fairfield Prep coach Graham Niemi said. “We have a good faceoff crew and they came through today. In my opinion Reale and (Ethan) Grandolfo are the two of the best attackmen in the state and Peter Kavanaugh and Connor Boyle are two of the best midfielders.
“We have won a lot of (SCC) titles, but it never gets old. Any time you are in a championship game, it’s special. You always play as hard as you can. We play in a good league and this is a special win. Now we are looking forward to the states.”
Next up for the Jesuits (15-3) is a game against visiting Greenwich in the first round of the CIAC Class L tournament on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.
Guilford coach Brian White was proud of his team’s effort.
“Fairfield Prep is incredibly talented,” White said. “They start fast and play so fast that it takes a while to adjust. They won a ton of face offs and you have to respect them. Our kids played hard and I’m proud of their effort.”
Reale got on a roll early. His third goal of the game gave the Jesuits a 3-1 lead with 8:41 to go in the first quarter. Guilford’s Jack Dacey cut the Jesuits’ lead to 3-2 with 4:57 to go. But Reale responded with a low shot into the right corner for a 4-2 lead. Kavanaugh made it 5-2 with 50 seconds to go, giving the Jesuits a three-goal lead heading into the second quarter.
Patrick McAleavey and Jack Esse gave the Jesuits a 7-2 lead in the first two minutes of the second quarter. James Wrynn snapped the Jesuits 4-goal run to cut the lead to 7-3 with 6:15 to go in the second quarter. But Ethan Grandolfo answered for the Jesuits 65 seconds later to make it 8-3.
The Indians closed the half strong. DeLucia scored his second goal with 1:28 to go and Dacey scored with 2 seconds left to cut the Jesuits’ lead to 8-5 at halftime.
Dacey opened the second half with a goal to cut Prep’s lead to 8-6 with 9:36 to go in the third quarter. The Jesuits answered with three straight goals capped by Reale’s fifth goal with 1:23 to go in the third quarter for a commanding 11-6 lead.
“We all knew in this game we had to come out strong and set the tone early,” Reale said. “I got on a roll early because of a combination of things. Being in the right place helped and another was having my teammates give me great passes. Winning this title is great. But now we have to go back to work to get ready for the state tournament.”
Dacey led the Indians (14-4) with four goals and Devlin Ahelfeld had eight saves.