New Canaan's boys lacrosse team struck early in Saturday's showdown against Darien. The Blue Wave struck late, and frequently.
Darien scored three goals within a 53-second span late in the third period and went on to defeat the Rams, 11-5, at Dunning Field. The Rams fell to 6-6 overall and 5-2 in the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference.
Matt Blasco scored the first of his two goals 1:16 into the game to stake the Rams to a 1-0 lead. Darien tied it with 2:16 left in the first quarter on the first of five goals by Rich Gregory. Darien led 5-3 at halftime and was up 7-4 late in the third quarter.
That's when the Blue Wave took control for good. Gregory scored with 1:44 left, and again with 1:16 left. Ben Preston scored with 51 seconds remaining, giving Darien a 10-4 lead entering the final period.
"Those goals were killers,'' New Canaan coach Alex Whitten said. "Darien's a team if you give them an opening they will take advantage of it and exploit it. Besides that third quarter we were OK."
Joe Costigan Michael Bossidy and Henry Eschricht scored for the Rams, who were within 5-3 at halftime.
"We just wanted to play hard,'' Whitten said. "I thought we came out and played extremely hard. You also have to play well against Darien. You have to do the technical things well, like passing and catching and shooting."
Goalie Jimmy Joe Granito was solid for the Rams, making 19 saves. Many of the goals were defensive breakdowns on which he had little chance to make the save. "I thought he played real well,'' Whitten said. "They had a lot of shots from in close."
New Canaan has dropped three of its last four. The Rams look to get back on the winning track Tuesday when they play at Westhill.
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