NEW CANAAN -- So much for a letdown.
Four days after claiming its most significant win in nearly a decade, the New Canaan boys lacrosse team took a workman-like approach in its first-round state tournament game.
"We knew that we would have an upper hand today, but we challenged our guys to be as sharp as they could," coach Alex Whitten said. "We are transitioning well from defense to offense, which is fun to watch."
It's hard to imagine the Rams being any sharper than they are right now.
Peter Kraus and Michael Bossidy combined for seven goals as New Canaan rolled into the quarterfinals of the Division M state tournament with a 18-2 win over Pomperaug on Wednesday afternoon at Dunning Field.
The FCIAC champion Rams, who ran their winning streak to 14 games, scored eight seconds in and did not let up.
The Panthers didn't register a shot until five seconds left in the first quarter, when the score was already 7-0.
"We had a lot of momentum coming off winning FCIAC's (on Friday against Ridgefield)," said Kraus, who scored three. "We are still excited from it and we just want to carry the momentum through the state playoffs."
New Canaan will host North Haven in the next round on Saturday, which will be the last home game for the Rams in 2012.
It was also be the last game at Dunning Field for the 19 seniors who dressed Wednesday.
"We know our next game will be our last on this field," Kraus said. "It's starting to get to us a little bit, but we just have to play our best."
Pomperaug's Paul Zaloumis and Henry Archie scored twice early in the third quarter to break up the shutout.
The Panthers won a qualifying match against Bunnell (5-2) just to reach the round of 16. The SWC Division II finalists saw their season end at 10-10.
"Pomperaug is a good athletic team," Whitten said. "They are not a bad team; we are just playing so well right now."
With the Rams seemingly on the path to their second straight trip to the Class M final, an opportunity for a league and state double is a distinct possibility, a feat they last accomplished in 2003.
"We got through our FCIAC season and now its time to get through our state season," Whitten said. "It is a four-game season, but we are only as good as our last game. The FCIAC is the premier lacrosse league in the state, but it's our goal to win both. We need to focus on what is ahead of us and that is the quarterfinals."
The Rams now stand just three victories away from claiming a state title.
Division M first round
POMPERAUG 0 0 2 0--2
NEW CANAAN 7 5 3 3--18
Records: Pomperaug 10-10, New Canaan 17-3. Scoring: P--Henry Archie (1g), Paul Zaloumis (1g), Michael Berlant (1a). NC--Peter Kraus (3g, 2a), Michael Bossidy (4g), Peter Richardson (1g, 4a), Jack Bratches (1g), Wesley Rhudy (1g), Duke Repko (2g, 2a), Griffin White (1g), Jack Isherwood (1g), Phil Arliss (1g), Pete Johnson (1a), Matthew Blasco (1g), Jonathan Stanton (1g), John Brainard (1g). Goalies: P--Spencer Freund (14 saves), Tyler Valenti (3); NC--Tom Carey (1). Shots: P--6; NC--47.