WEST HAVEN >> The Xavier boys lacrosse team always does its best to score early and often. On Thursday in the Southern Connecticut Conference championship game against Fairfield Prep, the attack was flawless in the first two quarters.
The Falcons scored the game’s first four goals and Wesley Reid, Chris Connelly and Colin McCarthy scored four goals each as No. 2 Xavier cruised to a 13-8 win over No. 1 Fairfield Prep at Ken Strong Stadium for its second SCC title. The Falcons (15-3) won a Division II SCC title in 2001.
Xavier goalie Zach Odell made 17 saves. In the regular season, Prep beat Xavier 19-14.
“Normally, we get blown out by Prep,” Xavier coach Scott Basile said. “In that last game we kept the score close, we saw we could play with them and it gave us confidence. Tonight we wanted it and we weren’t afraid.
“Our goalie played great and our defense played great. This championship is huge for our program. It’s the first time we beat Prep in 16 years.”
In the first quarter, Xavier dominated possession early and scored the game’s first two goals. Reid made it 1-0 with 9:29 to go in the quarter and Connelly made it 2-0 with 6:28 to go.
Odell made three saves off close shots from about 10 feet in front of the net in the quarter. One of the best saves came on a shot by Prep’s Colin Smalkais in front of the left post with 3:40 to go in the first quarter.
Xavier continued its dominance early in the second quarter. Reid scored in front of the right post with 9:59 to go for a 3-0 lead. He made it 4-0 with 7:07 left in the quarter.
“We didn’t want to play lacrosse today,” Fairfield Prep coach Chris Smalkais said. “We didn’t give ourselves a chance to compete. I’m surprised by how we played and I’m disappointed. We need to play physically tougher.”
Fairfield Prep cut the lead to 4-1 on a goal by John Edmonds with 6:17 to go, but McCarthy (3:44 to go) and Connelly (2:48 to go) responded to give the Falcons a 6-1 lead at halftime.
In the third quarter, Colin McCarthy scored for Xavier with 1:14 left for an 8-2 lead, but Prep’s Colin Smalkais answered with 11 seconds left to cut the lead to 8-3.
Prep’s Cameron Harris scored the first two goals of the fourth quarter to make the game interesting, cutting the lead to 8-4 with 9:06 to go and 8-5 with 7:57 to go.
Prep kept it a three-goal lead when John Edmonds scored to make it 10-7 with 3:26 left. But that would be the closest the Jesuits (11-6) would get the rest of the way.
“We know Prep is good, but we couldn’t be afraid of them,” Odell said. “We kept pushing ourselves. Coach told me play big, play the ball and fight for the ball. I actually made some guesses on saves, but that’s what you have to do against a tough team like Prep.
“Getting a 4-0 lead was huge for me. It took a lot of pressure off.”
Edmonds, Smalkais and Cameron Harris had two goals each for the Jesuits. Prep’s Jack O’Connor had 18 saves.
Xavier 13, Fairfield Prep 8
(at West Haven)
Xavier 2 4 2 5 — 13
Fairfield Prep 0 1 2 5 — 8
Goals: (FP) Cam Harris 2; Collin Smallkais 2; John Edmonds 2; Mitchell Savoca 1; Pat Lambert 1; (XV) Colin McCarthy 4; Chris Connelly 4; Wes Reid 4; Colin O’Donnell 1;
Assists: (FP) Collin Smallkais 1; John Edmonds 1; (XV) Colin O’Donnell 3; Wes Reid 3; Chris Connelly 2; Brett Reid 1;
Saves: (FP) Jack O’Connor 18; (XV) Zach Odell 17;
Shots—XV: 43; FP: 32;
Team records—Fairfield Prep 11-6; Xavier 15-3
— Francesco Graziano (@FrankieGrazie6) May 29, 2015