NEW CANAAN -- It may not have been exactly how the New Canaan boys lacrosse team drew it up, but it escaped from its home turf with a 10-9 over Fairfield Ludlowe nonetheless.

With the game tied 8-8 entering the fourth quarter and 8:50 remaining, Ludlowe's Jack Palmer gave the Falcons their first lead of the game by burying a short-range shot.

Facing its first deficit of the day, New Canaan answered back when Peter Kraus scored his fourth goal of the contest to knot the score at 9-9. Exactly one minute later, New Canaan was back on top when Puck Richardson found Mike Bossidy for his third goal, which was also the game-winner.

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"Coming into this game, we knew that they were an athletic team and that we were going to have a dogfight on our hands. This is the first game that we've been tested like that, so it's good that we were able to fight back and pull out a win," Kraus said. "I'm a senior captain so I felt like it was my job to help this team out and start the comeback."

While he was happy to see his team battle back to take its first lead of the game in the fourth quarter, Ludlowe coach Chris Parisi is looking forward to seeing his team knock of an elite FCIAC team and become one themselves.

"Our kids play hard, they know the game and they've played like a team all year. Our kids have a lot of guts and showed a lot of character," Parisi said. "We weren't surprised that we tied in the fourth. A couple broke plays and a couple finishes were the difference. It's easy to get disheartened, but I don't think our kids will. We're going to pick somebody off at some point."

New Canaan required just 48 seconds to open the scoring in the first quarter when Matt Blasco beat Ludlowe goalie Judson Koss after taking in a pass from teammate John Brainard. Ludlowe drew even on its first possession of the game when Daniel Errett fought through the New Canaan defense for a short-range goal that beat New Canaan goalie Tom Carey.

Carey quickly got that goal back, however, after taking in a pass and running the length of the field to unleash a shot for a 2-1 lead, seemingly catching the Falcons off guard.

After fending off a lengthy Ludlowe possession, New Canaan scored a transition goal when Kraus found Bossidy in front of the net, who buried a short-range shot.

The first goal of the second quarter belonged to Kraus after he received a pass from Carey, who moved to attack with backup goalie Griffin Falvey taking over the goaltending duties for a few minutes. Ludlowe's Ryan Desmond cut the Rams' lead to 4-2 just 15 seconds later. Just over a minute later, Kraus fired an exceptionally fast shot into the Ludlowe cage as Harry Stanton picked up the assist. Two minutes later, Stanton scored a goal of his own to make it 6-2.

Ludlowe again cut into the lead on a goal by Mac Eder, but New Canaan answered back eight seconds later when Kraus found Bossidy to make the score 7-3. Ludlowe got two back when Desmond scored with exactly two minute remaining and Errett scored his second goal with 1:06 remaining.

In the third, Kraus scored first and Kyle Mason scored a pair for Ludlowe, the second coming with 31 seconds remaining to make the score 8-7 in New Canaan's favor. Ludlowe pulled even when Eder scored as time expired to knot the game at 8-8. Carey made eight of his 16 saves in the third period.

Trailing by goal late in the fourth, Ludlowe called timeout and got one final scoring opportunity, but Carey made the save with a minute left and the Rams ran out the clock.

"We gave up a lot of man down goals which is unfortunate. We played a sloppy game in terms of the penalties which we're going to look to correct," New Canaan coach Alex Whitten said. "But we knew Ludlowe was an athletic group and they were going to come out and play us hard and that's exactly what they did. This was a grinder game that we had to pull out in the fourth quarter."

jchik@bcnnew.com