WESTON >> According to Staples boys’ lacrosse coach Paul McNulty, you can have a very good season with a good goalie and a good faceoff man.
Wednesday evening against Weston, the Wreckers showed they have both.
Combined with a dominant and game-changing seven-goal second quarter performance, Staples cruised to a 12-4 season-opening road victory over the Trojans.
“We know that Weston is always going to play us very hard, and they have a good goalie (Grant Limone). They’re sound, they know how to play, when they played that zone, and we figured that,” McNulty said. “But we got some good up and down transition goals which was very helpful, especially against a good goalie and a good zone defense.”
After a somewhat nerved-filled first quarter that ended with both clubs scoring one goal apiece, Staples seized control.
Led by senior co-captain Will Johnson, who netted four goals, the Wreckers’ offense found a nice flow. Senior Eric Zurmuehle helped kick-start the offense winning a good chunk of the faceoffs and Staples went from there.
The Wreckers took the lead for good early on in the second quarter as Isaac Paparo scrambled to a loose ball and zipped it in for the 2-1 lead. From there, attack Ross Goldberg and Johnson helped build an impressive 8-1 advantage by the half.
“That was the game,” said Weston head coach John Mathews of the second quarter. “I think we came out pretty strong, I think both teams had the early jitters, but credit to Staples they did some readjustments. I think our young guys got a littler younger as the second quarter went on. I think that we broke down a little but defensively.”
Goldberg finished with two goals and Connor Chamberlin added two as well as seven players scored for Staples.
“If you want to be a good attackman, you can’t be afraid to run in front of the goal with those big guys coming after you” McNulty said. “And (Goldberg) did that,” McNulty said.
Weston showed some life as they scored twice in the third and once in the fourth. Junior Spencer Turkel finished with three goals for a young and growing Weston team that won the Class S state title last spring. Staples’ goalie Cole Gendels backed by a solid defense, held the Trojans offense silent most of the evening.
“What I take away from (the game) is we have a lot to work on,” Mathews said. “I think hopefully the guys will learn a lot from today. The good news is it’s the first game of the season not the last; so hopefully we’ll progress from here.”
The Wreckers were playing without senior starter Patrick Lesch, who is out until May 1, according to McNulty. Lesch suffered two broken ribs and a punctured lung against New Canaan in a scrimmage. McNulty said the punctured lung was taken care of, as Lesch is out with the rib injury.
“We’re very upset that Pat can’t play, but we have another saying, no excuses. Next guy just has to play as well as Pat,” McNulty said.