FAIRFIELD — No one quite left Rafferty Stadium enthralled with their game Monday evening. Fairfield Prep, at least, left with a win in SCC boys lacrosse.
The No. 3 Jesuits ran out to a big early lead in a 14-8 win over No. 9 Guilford, dealing the Indians their first loss.
“We came off a pretty good game with Chaminade. We were looking to just keep that going, play our lacrosse,” junior defender Joe Bednar said; the Jesuits lost 13-9 on Saturday on Long Island to Chaminade (N.Y.), one of the top high school teams in the country.
“After a game like that, it’s about rebounding and keeping it going, about getting better, continuously getting better in games like this.”
Fairfield Prep (6-2) took an 8-1 lead, withstood three goals in 20 seconds from Guilford (8-1) and improved to 6-0 against teams that aren’t from Long Island. Massapequa (N.Y.) beat the Jesuits 16-7 on April 18.
“Emotionally, we were a little spent today,” Jesuits coach Graham Niemi said. “I thought we played really well Saturday. We fought hard. We competed physically. We were much better mentally on the field in terms of decisions we made.
“We played pretty well at times (Monday), but I think we were a little not-fully-invested in today’s game. I’m not mad at my kids. They’re kids. They’re learning to compete at the highest level.”
Guilford, coming off an 8-7 win Saturday over No. 8 Newtown, scored the last three goals of Monday’s game in the final five minutes.
“We didn’t really get off the bus too well,” Guilford coach Brian White said. “Our kids can sometimes be a little bit in awe of some of these kids out here just because of who they are and the name on the front of the jersey. We have to focus on how we play, not how they play.”
Jesuits junior attackman Patrick McAleavey paced the offense with five goals and two assists. Senior Mason Reale scored four.
Part of this, sure, is that the Jesuits had the ball an awful lot in the first three quarters, as White said.
Guilford’s All-America attackman, John DeLucia, was held to just one assist until the final five minutes, when he scored two goals. Jack Dacey scored three for the Indians, but the Jesuits kept some high-powered offense under control.
“(Assistants) Ryan McClay and Tony Vallance came up with a great game plan,” Niemi said. “I actually coached those kids when they were younger, so I know them pretty well. They’re tough. They’re just really good lacrosse players. They make great plays around the net.
“We tried to double them as much as they could. I thought (defender) Mason Whitney did a really good job today. I thought Joey Bednar did a good job today. But we helped them a lot. We had to.”
“(The Jesuits) move the ball well. They handle pressure. They’ve got some athletic kids. I think that’s something that we have to get to at some point. It’s great that we got to see it today and go against it today. We’ve been playing teams that physically have been really kind of talented, but skill-wise, that’s the most skilled team we’ve seen so far.” — Guilford coach Brian White