RIDGEFIELD — It is this simple sometimes: If you don’t have the ball in a boys lacrosse game, you’re not going to score.
No. 3 New Canaan had the ball all second quarter to take a halftime lead at Tiger Hollow on Thursday. No. 2 Ridgefield countered in the third to roar back for a 10-9 win in the rain and protected the ball late to preserve it.
“We had the jitters in the first half. We’re a young team,” said junior defender Kai Prohaszka, who made a difference in the second half. “We weren’t so confident in the first half. We turned that around in the second half.”
Ridgefield (2-0) put Prohaszka on faceoff duty in the second half, looking to him to even out what had been a dominant facet for New Canaan (1-2) in the first half and in particular in the second quarter.
New Canaan won the opening draw of the second, but Prohaszka picked up a ground ball and helped turn momentum the other way.
“I count on Kai. I lean heavily on Kai in the defensive end,” Ridgefield coach Roy Colsey said, “and lean heavily on Ryan (Colsey, his son) in the offensive end. Those guys have to make plays.
“At the start of the third quarter, Kai makes all the faceoff plays, Ryan scored a couple of goals and starts to beat his man, and everybody else starts to get confident.”
Ryan Colsey led all scorers with four goals, three of them in the third quarter.
“When we have the ball, we’re dangerous. So are they,” New Canaan coach Chip Buzzeo said. “This is two great offenses that, when they have the ball, they have opportunities. This was a great lacrosse game.
“Two weeks into the season after a two-year break, the level of lacrosse is extremely high,” he added. “I think we’ve gotten better in five days, and we’re going to keep getting better. “
Ridgefield led 4-3 after the teams traded goals late in the first quarter. New Canaan scored four in the second, two of them Chris Canet’s.
But the Ridgefield comeback started off that Prohaszka ground ball early in the third, with Luke Winkler feeding C.J. Lauretani for the attackman’s third goal.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
The tweaked faceoff rule for this season makes it a little more like a normal ground ball, players and coaches have said in the early going. Ridgefield defender Kai Prohaszka picked up a big ground ball in his own end and battled for some more at the X.
“That was my first (faceoff) go,” he said. “We practice that sometimes, but that was fun.”
Roy Colsey said he wasn’t necessarily concerned with Prohaszka’s winning draws himself, “just to neutralize the draw and make it a 50-50. Our possession time in the second quarter was so low. We were gassed on defense, losing every draw.”
New Canaan’s next three opponents: No. 4 Fairfield Prep, No. 5 Wilton, No. 1 Darien. Ridgefield’s next three opponents: Fairfield Prep, Darien, Wilton.
“It’s a great schedule. Staying in-state (at the CIAC’s strong recommendation), we’re playing everyone we possibly can,” Colsey said, “New Canaan twice, Darien twice, added Prep, added Brunswick. We want to play the best teams, so if we can’t get those teams outside the state of Connecticut, we’ll play the best teams here.”
“They had the ball more than we did. They made some great plays on offense. We didn’t have the ball enough in the second half, so credit them. Whenever they have a lead with five minutes or less, they stalled and killed the clock, which is smart, so credit them. Great game for both teams.” —New Canaan coach Chip Buzzeo