WESTPORT — After waiting one day for its home opener, thanks to mother nature, the Staples boys lacrosse team started out hot, scoring 11 goals in the first two quarters in a 15-2 win over Brien McMahon on a windy, chilly Wednesday afternoon.
“We played great defense against Bronxville (10-8 Staples win) in the first three quarters,” Staples coach Paul McNulty said. “And they won the fourth. So those are the lessons you learn, you’ve got to learn how to finish. And that was something we emphasized in our two days of practice leading up to today.”
The Wreckers were able to dictate the flow of the game early and often with goals from Matt Bidgood, Nico Rossi, and Patrick Ciquera as Staples jump out to a 7-0 lead at the end of the first.
Staples wanted to start fast and get a win on the home field to begin the season, Bidgood said.
“Honestly,” he said. “Having a first game win and dressing in all white is probably one of the most meaningful things for our team.
Bidgood finished the game with four goals and an assist while Rossi and Ciquera both finished with three goals and an assist, respectively.
McMahon struggled to get the ball in the net for much of the game before Sebastian Cunningham got the Senators on the board late in the third, but coach Jon Dana said there were bright spots to be found in the way that his team continued to compete and improve.
“We’re working hard,” Dana said. “We’re getting guys that are new to the game and getting them in there. When those guys have success and they have a chance to make a revelation in their world of the game and understand stuff, that’s what we want to see.”
In just two games, the Wreckers have scored 25 goals and have done so by emphasizing a philosophy of group offense, a concept that Bidgood said seems to be working out.
“We got in there,” he said. “We played fast. We played hard. We looked for the open guys and we made sure to play team offense. That’s what we’re trying to focus on, team offense, not individual plays.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
The leading scorer in the Wreckers’ offensive assault was Bidgood, who finished with four goals and an assist.
NO ZINN, NO PROBLEM
The Wreckers didn’t miss a beat with their star Evan Zinn out with a hand injury. Even without the Johns Hopkins-commit, Staples has managed to get some big plays from the rest of the team.
“It’s so important for us to be playing as a team. When Evan’s out there, he carries the ball, he scores like four or five goals a game. He’s a huge component of our team. But when we play together as a team without him, it’s almost like we don’t need him,” Matt Bidgood said after Staples’ home opening win.
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STAPLES 15, MCMAHON 2
MCMAHON0 0 1 1—2
STAPLES7 4 3 1—15
Records: McMahon 0-2, Staples 2-0. Scoring: M—Sebastian Cunningham 1g, Niklas Wilson 1g, Jack Froelich 1a; S—Matt Bidgood 4g, 1a, Patrick Ciquera 3g, 1a, Nico Rossi 3g, 1a, Dobson Cooper 1g, Max Lonergan 2g, 2a, Thomas Lynch 1g, Max Eigen 1g, Donald Macaluso 1a. Goalies: M—John Gatt (11 saves); H—Matt Garber (3 saves), Timothy Luciano (2 saves) , Ben Howard (1 save) . Shots: M—8; H—33.H