Fueled by a loss in the FCIAC championship game, New Canaan High School's boys' lacrosse team set out to put the pedal to the metal and make a run at the Class M State Tournament title. So far, so good, as the Rams trounced Pomperaug 20-2 in first-round action last Thursday night.

No. 3 New Canaan improved to 14-3 and advanced to Saturday's second round and No. 14 Pomperaug saw its season come to an end at 14-9.

The Rams had 17 players with at least one goal or assist, as several junior varsity call-ups got some postseason exposure after the host team built a commanding first-half cushion.

Senior Cody Newton scored four times and added an assist, while senior Patrick Ryan and sophomore Zack Miller both scored a pair of goals in the triumph. The Rams built a 14-0 halftime lead and, by pulling the starters, eased off a bit in the third and fourth quarters with the game in the bag.

"We came out to this game and we weren't going to take our foot off the pedal," Newton said. "We can't slow down."

The effects of the conference title game loss to the same Greenwich team that the Rams had beaten in the regular season are sticking with the Rams. "

That one stung," Newton said. "It's like a little burr under the saddle, as coach [Alex Whitten] says."

The Rams expected to win but knew they couldn't afford to take their opponent for granted both to avoid an upset and to keep sharp as they head deeper into the tourney.

"We just wanted to come out and play hard, play our game -- and we did that," Whitten said. "When you get to the playoffs, a lot of it is about how you play, not who you play."

In the Pomperaug game, the Rams did a good job of gaining ball control both in faceoff wins and via ground ball pickups, the coach noted.

"Today I think we really tried to stay at a high level of play and prepare ourselves throughout this game for the upcoming playoff games," one of those junior varsity call-ups, sophomore Michael Bossidy, said.

Seniors Christian Powell, Joe Kahmann and Ian Knechtle; juniors John Moran, Joe Costigan, Henry Corcoran, David Crandall, and Scott O'Brien; sophomores John Brainard, Peter Kraus and Bossidy; along with freshman Duke Repko all scored in the win.