FAIRFIELD — The Wilton boys lacrosse team rallied with three unanswered goals — including a pair seven seconds apart — to tie the score in the third quarter of Saturday night’s visit to Fairfield Prep.
Unfortunately for the Warriors, they couldn’t muster another comeback in the fourth quarter.
Prep, ranked No. 4 in the latest GameTimeCT poll, scored the next four goals and went on to beat No. 8 Wilton, 10-6, at Rafferty Stadium.
The Jesuits improved to 4-0 with the victory, while Wilton — competitive in every game thus far — fell to a deceptive 1-5. The Warriors’ five losses have been by a combined nine goals.
Prep got three goals from Ethan Grandolfo and two apiece from Peter Kavanaugh, Conor Boyle, and Jack Esse.
Andrew Luciano netted a hat trick for Wilton, and Liam Sullivan, Reilly Sullivan, and Ryan Schriber added one goal apiece.
Prep led 4-1 at halftime and was ahead 5-2 in the third quarter, when Wilton began its rally. Liam Sullivan scored on an assist from Liam McGovern, and Schriber won control off the ensuing face-off, sprinted in on goal, and whipped home a shot to make it 5-4 with 6:22 left in the third.
Luciano followed with his third goal of the game while Wilton was a man-up, tying the score at 5-5 with 3:41 left in the period.
“We were feeling good at that moment,” Wilton coach Steve Pearsall said.
Having Schriber, a long-pole midfielder, take face-offs paid dividends initially as Wilton got possession off a few consecutive draws and capitalized.
After Wilton tied the game, Prep scored late in the third period for a 6-5 lead heading to the final quarter.
Aided by Wilton penalties, the Jesuits scored three more goals to go ahead 9-5.
“Hats off to Prep — they got a couple face-offs. And we got a bunch of penalties,” Pearsall said.
The Jesuits, out of the Southern Connecticut Conference, had their first test of the season after outscoring their first three opponents by a combined 58-4.
Prep will get another test this Thursday (April 18), when it hosts Massapequa (N.Y.) at 5 p.m.
Things don’t get any easier for Wilton, which meets Chaminade (N.Y.) and Darien in its next two games. Chaminade (5-0) was ranked seventh and Darien (4-1) 14th in the most recent Under Armour/Inside Lacrosse Top 25 national rankings.
The Warriors may not be getting the wins they want, but they are hoping to glean something positive from facing such strong competition in every game.
“That’s the hope — that we’re being battle-tested,” Pearsall said.