WESTPORT -- Those on the Staples High boys soccer team are often reminded that there's no such thing as a perfect shot.
The result, of course, is what matters most.
Forward Diego Alanis' goal just three minutes into Staples' match with Greenwich on Monday afternoon wasn't the most routine tally, but it was enough to break a two-match scoreless drought and catapult the Wreckers to a 1-0 win.
"Several times this year we've been holding on too long, waiting for the perfect shot," head coach Dan Woog said. "Before the game I said, `The perfect shot doesn't exist. Take what you've got and go for it.' "
That's what Staples midfielder Joe Greenwald did when he collected a ball about 40 yards from the Greenwich goal and lofted a shot that ricocheted off the crossbar and right in front of goalkeeper Emmett Clarke. Alanis promptly beat the opposition to the ball and pocketed a shot into an open net.
"I just looked up and saw the keeper off his line a little bit and hit it," Greenwald said. "Diego was there for the putback. All credit to him."
"It was well taken and it was quickly taken, which was important," Woog said of Greenwald's initial shot.
Greenwich head coach Kurt Putnam believes it was the type of goal that his team should not have allowed.
"That's what tends to happen against good sides. You get punished by your lack of making the right tactical decision," he said. "Today, that was what happened."
The Cardinals, who drew even in shots on the afternoon, 6-6, failed to record a win for the first time in six matches and fell to 6-2-1.
"I just thought, to be honest, that they were a lot quicker than us to the loose ball," Putnam said. "That's just unfortunate."
Alanis' goal was more than enough to send the contingent at Loeffler Field home a winner as Staples (4-3-1) notched its first victory in four matches.
"It was definitely very important. It set the pace for the entire game," Alanis said of his goal.
With the lead in hand, Staples thwarted each of Greenwich's scoring chances with the help of goalkeeper James Hickok, who made two saves for his fifth shutout.
Woog never had any doubt that the Wreckers' lead was going to hold.
"It hasn't in the past. They know it, they've learned from it, they understand what it takes," he said. "They're a smart group of kids and they were not about to let that happen again."
For Greenwich, Clarke made three saves in goal.
Putnam, whose team lost to Staples 1-0 in the FCIAC quarterfinals a year ago, said the Cardinals played too passive and all around, were "very accommodating" for their opponent.
"We've played phases of some really, really good games. Today we didn't play a bad game, on a surface (grass) that we don't play on anymore," he said. "That's hard. It's wearing on your legs.
"We just really didn't get stuck into them, as I like to say."
firstname.lastname@example.org; 203-255-4561 ext. 114; twitter.com/DougBonjour
STAPLES 1, GREENWICH 0
GREENWICH 0 0--0
STAPLES 1 0--1
Records: Greenwich 6-2-1; Staples 4-3-1.
Goals: S--Diego Alanis. Assists: S--Joe Greenwald. Goalies: G--Emmett Clarke (3 saves); S--James Hickok (2). Shots: G--6; S--6.