The 2022 Preseason GameTimeCT Top 10 Boys Lacrosse Poll: Darien is No. 1

Darien's Matthew Minicus (4) lines up for a shot during a boys lacrosse game against New Canaan at Dunning Field on Thursday, May 20, 2021.

Darien's Matthew Minicus (4) lines up for a shot during a boys lacrosse game against New Canaan at Dunning Field on Thursday, May 20, 2021.

Dave Stewart/Hearst Connecticut Media

There are certain teams in certain sports that always get the benefit of the doubt before the season, and in Connecticut boys lacrosse, that team is Darien.

The Blue Wave top the preseason GameTimeCT Boys Lacrosse Top 10 Poll, as they often do. Despite a quarterfinal exit last spring, Darien was a regular-season juggernaut, won the FCIAC championship and has plenty of top talent as usual.

Last year's Class L champion, Ridgefield, starts out second and got the four first-place votes that Darien didn't. The Tigers also have a ton of talent back at every position, from the Colsey brothers in the offensive end to their goalie and star defender. Fairfield Prep starts third, with its young talent returning from a state finalist. Those two teams open the season with a Class-L final rematch on Saturday at Fairfield University.

New Canaan is fourth with its usual tough schedule, and Wilton, which had a slew of young players in key roles last season, is fifth, ahead of Staples, which reached the FCIAC final last season.

Greenwich is seventh and Fairfield Ludlowe is 10th, rounding out the always-large FCIAC contingent in the top 10. Between them are Cheshire and Hand, two SCC teams that start the year as favorites in Class M.

In all, 17 teams received a vote, including last year's Class M champion, Weston, and Class S champ, St. Joseph.

Preseason 2022 Boys Lacrosse Poll

TEAM
REC
PTS
LAST
CLASS

1. DARIEN (10)

19-2
135
2
L
2021 Result: Class L quarterfinals: lost to Fairfield Prep 14-10.
Season Opener: Tuesday vs. McMahon, 4 p.m.
The Bottom Line: "Until proven otherwise," said one voter. With its depth and perennial talent, it's the default.

2. RIDGEFIELD (4)

16-7
125
1
L
2021 Result: Class L final: def. Fairfield Prep 8-5.
Season Opener: Saturday at Fairfield Prep, 5 p.m.
The Bottom Line: These guys have taken the default away two of the past three times we've made it through a season, and there are a bunch of important Tigers back.

3. FAIRFIELD PREP

16-4
111
3
L
2021 Result: Class L final: lost to Ridgefield 8-5.
Season Opener: Saturday vs. Ridgefield, 5 p.m.
The Bottom Line: All those kids who were so good in the postseason are a year older. They'll get a good test off the hop.

4. NEW CANAAN

10-8
90
7
L
2021 Result: Class L qualifying round: lost to Fairfield Ludlowe 8-7 (2OT)
Season Opener: Saturday vs. Mamaroneck, N.Y., 4:30 p.m.
The Bottom Line: The Rams' season ended earlier than usual last year. Opinions are very torn on them to start this year, with votes ranging from second to seventh.

5. WILTON

15-6
85
4
M
2021 Result: Class L semifinals: lost to Fairfield Prep 14-5.
Season Opener: Thursday vs. Fordham Prep (N.Y.), 6:30 p.m.
The Bottom Line: The Warriors, on the other hand, were fourth, fifth or sixth on every ballot.

6. STAPLES

15-5
65
5
L
2021 Result: Class L first round: lost to Ridgefield 5-3.
Season Opener: Saturday vs. Bronxville, N.Y., 4:30 p.m.
The Bottom Line: Opinions were even more all over the place on last year's upstarts than they were on New Canaan.

7. GREENWICH

11-6
49
6
L
2021 Result: Class L first round: lost to Fairfield Prep 9-8.
Season Opener: Tuesday at Norwalk, 7 p.m.
The Bottom Line: This could be a really good team that gets overshadowed in a really tough conference.

8. CHESHIRE

14-5
34
T10
M
2021 Result: Class L quarterfinals: lost to Wilton 12-8.
Season Opener: Saturday at La Salle Academy (R.I.), noon
The Bottom Line: The Rams have some key players back from a team that wasn't far off last year.

9. HAND

15-6
20
T10
M
2021 Result: Class M final: lost to Weston 5-4 (OT).
Season Opener: Tuesday vs. Conard (Surf Club), 7:15 p.m.
The Bottom Line: The Tigers too have some very important players returning from a team that was just a couple of minutes away from its first championship last year and now has even more competition in Class M.

10. FAIRFIELD LUDLOWE

10-9
12
NR
L
2021 Result: Class L first round: lost to Cheshire 12-11.
Season Opener: Tuesday vs. New Canaan, 6 p.m.
The Bottom Line: The Falcons' qualifying-round win over New Canaan shook up the Class L bracket last spring. Look who christens Taft Field for this season.