NEW CANAAN -- On this day, there would be no first game jitters.

New Canaan scored early and often in its season opener against St. Joseph, resulting in a 17-5 boys lacrosse win at Dunning Field Wednesday afternoon.

"It's great," said senior Michael Kraus, who tallied a hat trick and four assists on the day. "It's a good feeling for everybody when you start the season like this; especially against a good team like St. Joe."

Kraus had all of his points in the first half for the Rams, who built a 15-3 halftime lead before getting the backups some work in the second half. The captain had three assists in the first quarter to three different players, Clayton Burt (two goals, two assists), Justin Meichner (three goals) and Kyle Smith (two goals one assist), before tallying his first strike of the day with just 10 seconds remaining in the opening period.

Kraus did much of his damage from behind the goal where he routinely found cutting players who were able to finish in traffic against the St. Joseph zone.

"It's going to be hard to play zone against our team this year," New Canaan coach Chip Buzzeo said. "I'm going to be surprised if anybody plays zone against us because we have so many good outside shooters and it's really hard to do when we can stretch the defense so much."

To his point, the Rams 17 goals came from the sticks of nine different players, showing the depth of the New Canaan team.

"It gets the whole team morale up," Kraus said of the various goal-scorers. "Everyone feels like they were a part of the scoring on the day."

St. Joseph was able to find a bit of success late, but the Cadet's got a tough draw in the schedule, traveling to play the mighty Rams in the season opener.

"We didn't get down and the good thing is they showed us we have to play faster," Cadet coach Joe Izzo said. "(New Canaan) gets up and down quick and has great players you have to cover and they did a great job executing. It makes us have to move a lot a faster, in the second half we stuck to it and dug out some stuff and I thought they played well; Chip's got a great team here."

For Buzzeo and the rest of the Rams it was nice to get their feet wet after three weeks of practice, especially this past week were New Canaan was on spring break and the team was holding two-a-day sessions.

"It's always good to get that first win," Buzzeo said. "The whole drama of putting on the jersey for the first time and being together as a team and the pregame warm-ups and making it count, we've had three weeks of preseason and scrimmages and conditioning and it finally feels good to say it's game time. We still have a lot of work to do so we're just going to put our heads down and keep working -- I'm excited for the season."

aparelli@bcnnew.com @reportedbytheAP

New Canaan 17, St. Joseph 5

ST. JOSEPH 1 2 0 2--5

NEW CANAAN 5 10 1 1--17

Records: New Canaan 1-0; St. Joseph 0-1. Scoring--Clayton Burt 2 goals, 2 assists, Kyle Smith 2g 1a, Justin Meichner 3g 1a, Michael Kraus 3g 4a, Ryan O'Connell 1g 1a, Peter Swindell 1g 1a, Owen Toland 3g, Maxwell Begoon 1g, Jake Horstmeyer 1g, Teddy Dumbauld 1a; SJ--Peter Bashar 1g, Preston Ouellette 2g, Matt Labash 1g, Mike Sudora 1g. Goalies: NC--Drew Morris (5 saves); SJ--Mike Braddick (4), Cillian Donahue (2). Shots: NC--28; SJ--21.