New Canaan's start was decent Tuesday, but it could've been better, maybe a little like the way its coach feels about its first 10 games.

The Rams put things together in Tuesday's second quarter, dominated possession and pounded Barlow 17-5 on the road.

It seemed like a premier non-conference boys lacrosse game. For 12 minutes, it was, or at least was competitive; Barlow scored in the last minute of the first quarter to make it 4-3 Rams. Then the Rams scored 10 goals in a row to start the second quarter.

"I think in the second quarter we just calmed down a little bit," said New Canaan attackman Michael Kraus, who scored the Rams' first four goals and finished with six.

"It was emotional. I think we were a bit amped up to be playing them. In the second quarter, we settled the offense."

One of the biggest factors was senior Teddy Dumbauld kept winning faceoffs for New Canaan (8-2, just moved up to No. 2 in the state poll). The Rams won 18 of 21 draws in the first half.

They turned the ball over off some of those faceoffs in the first quarter -- Barlow (7-3) scored 37 seconds into the game after one of those -- but when they settled in, they were deadly.

"We traditionally have never been really strong at faceoffs for whatever reason," Barlow coach John Distler said, saying he thought Bryan Gallaer at least slowed Dumbauld down a bit.

"We thwarted any fast breaks, but it's possession."

The Rams picked apart Barlow's defense and took advantage of the Falcons' inexperienced goalkeepers.

"We've got an attackman playing (goal). Our starting goalie quit two months ago," Distler said. "We have what we have. They've gotten better as the season's gone along."

Greg Fracassini, the starter, made three big saves in the first quarter. He made a couple in the second quarter, too.

But the Rams started moving the ball at will. Only one of Kraus' four goals in the first had an assist; four of their next eight goals had an assist.

"That's our main goal on offense, to generate the best shots for the unit," Rams coach Chip Buzzeo said. "We felt, as good as Michael Kraus was stepping up in the first quarter, we didn't think the other five guys were playing as well. We talked at the quarter about moving the ball."

New Canaan was coming off a 15-9 win against then-No. 6 Fairfield Prep, putting the game away late. The Rams host No. 1 Darien (10-0) on Saturday at 3 (Darien has Danbury in between on Thursday), then visit No. 6 Fairfield Ludlowe next Tuesday.

"We've got a long way to go," Buzzeo said. "We are getting better. I'm proud of how we responded, but we've got a long way to go. We've got a lot of talented players still learning how to play the game. We can get a lot better."