NEW CANAAN -- It is always meaningful whenever the New Canaan High School and Wilton High girls lacrosse programs do battle.

After all, Wilton beat New Canaan in overtime to win the 2014 Class M state championship. New Canaan beat Wilton for both the 2012 and 2013 Class M state crowns.

And in FCIAC girls lacrosse finals, Wilton defeated New Canaan in 2004, 2008 and 2010.

On Thursday afternoon, New Canaan stated its case intently to be the queens of the girls lacrosse neighborhood, rolling to a 12-6 triumph over Wilton before a partisan crowd at Dunning Stadium.

"It's early in the season. And we have a lot to work on. But this is a huge win," said New Canaan senior goalie Bailey Pilder. "Especially with Wilton ranked No. 1 in some state polls. It's a game both teams can learn a lot from."

What Wilton (2-2, 2-2 FCIAC) learned in the first half was just how explosive New Canaan's offense can be.

Samantha Stewart scored three goals while Catherine Granito and Elizabeth Miller each scored twice as New Canaan (4-0, 3-0) grabbed an 8-1 halftime edge.

"The intensity was good. The girls were very focused in the first half," New Canaan coach Kristin Woods said.

The words of Wilton coach Meredith Adamicki were effective during intermission.

The Warriors began winning faceoffs and controlling ball possession in the second half.

Goals by Laine Parsons (two) and Sara Dickinson brought Wilton to 8-4 with 12:41 left to play.

"We cleaned up our turnovers. And we challenged for every 50-50 ball," Adamicki said. "It was too big a hole to climb out of. We did outscore New Canaan, 5-4 in the second half."

But New Canaan regrouped and revived as goals by Miller, Katie DeMarino, Stewart and Isabel Taben settled the issue.

New Canaan's defense was strong in the first half but goalie Pilder (10 of her 11 saves) was dominant in the second half.

"We had a choppy stretch but the last 15 minutes we played very hard," New Canaan's Woods said. "Bailey (Pilder) is a great goalie who will continue to improve as the season goes on. She has so much potential."

The challenges will continue for both New Canaan and Wilton this weekend as they will face traditional powers from Long Island.

New Canaan will host Eastport/South Manor (NY) Saturday at 6 p.m. at Dunning Stadium. Wilton -- which also lost to Greenwich (11-10) this week -- travels to Middle Country (NY) Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

"We want to get better. And playing Long Island teams will help us learn," Adamicki said. "Teams will grow as we go along. Everybody is pointing to mid-May (FCIAC and state playoffs)."

rich.depreta@scni.com

New Canaan 12, Wilton 6

WILTON 1 5 -- 6

NEW CANAAN 8 4 --12

Records: Wilton 2-2, 2-2 FCIAC; New Canaan 4-0, 3-0 FCIAC.

Scoring: W -- Makenna Pearsall 2 goals; Laine Parsons 2g; Sara Dickinson 2g; Paisley Eagen 1a. NC -- Samantha Stewart 4g, 1 assist; Catherine Granito 2g; Elizabeth Miller 3g, 1a; Isabel Taben 2g; Katie DeMarino 1g, 2a; Maddie Gertsen 1a. Goalies: W -- Olivia Phelan (7 saves); NC -- Bailey Pilder (11 saves).

Highlights: NC -- New Canaan hosts Eastport/South Manor (NY) Saturday at 6 p.m. W -- Wilton travels to Middle Country (NY) Saturday at 1:30 p.m.