WEST HARTFORD>> Staples was just better.
The Wreckers, behind six goals from captain Will Johnson, beat No. 8 Hall, 14-4 at Robert S. Chalmers Stadium at Hall High School on Wednesday in the first round of the Class L state lacrosse tournament.
“The players around me set me up for good goals and me setting them up for good goals,” Johnson said. “Just all around a good effort.”
Warriors coach Phil Orzech said his team needed a defensive struggle in order to have a chance in this one, but the exact opposite happened.
Johnson scored just 31 seconds into the game for Staples and were off. Staples scored five times in the first quarter and the first six goals of the game before Kevin Carr found enough room to get a shot off and get Hall on the board with 3:25 left in the second.
“They’re a very strong defensive team and I really thought we could win the game,” Orzech said. “But once they got the four goal lead, that changed everything.”
Cole Gendels, the Staples goalie who will be attending Union College next year, stopped eight shots in the game, but didn’t have much pressure.
“Our kids didn’t create enough separation,” Orzech said. “I almost used a timeout thirty seconds into the game, because I could see what was happening. The guys weren’t moving and then I didn’t call it. They got possession and they scored.”
Hall won the face-off battle 10 to nine, but almost every time the Warriors had possession they would lose the ball to the ground or have a pass picked off.
“I think we just came out on fire today,” Johnson said.
From the 1:58 mark in the first quarter to the 3:25 mark in the second, Staples was held in check, scoring just twice.
“That period of 15 minutes of game time,” Orzech said. “That’s what I thought the game should have been like. That’s what we needed the game to be like.”
That’s not what the game was like.
Staples outscored Hall 8-3 the rest of the way cruising to victory just so they can travel even further north on Saturday to play No. 1 Simsbury.
Two other Staples players recorded a hat trick: Michael Reale and Connor Chamberlin.
Marc Ross of Hall put in the final two goals of the game with under two minutes remaining to cap his career.
“Marc Ross is a great player, he played a great game,” Orzech said. Probably one of the best Hall ever had.”
Staples goals: Will Johnson (6), Michael Reale (3), Connor Chamberlin (3), Tucker Bobrow, Jon Pacilio.
Assists: Bobrow (2), Reale, Jack Greenwald, Eric Zurmuehle.
Saves: Cole Gendels (8).
Hall goals: Marc Ross (2), Will Witter, Kevin Carr.
Assists: Owen Macca (2).
Saves: Harrison Newman (10).
Records: Staples 13-5; Hall 12-5.