Greenwich boys lacrosse coach Scott Bulkley was in an excusatory mood after Staples beat the Cardinals 6-2 Tuesday afternoon.
Bulkley was not sorry his team lost but rather with the effort put forth by his squad.
"We didn't play well. I do not want to take anything away from Staples but our guys did not come to play today," Bulkley said.
"I just apologized to Coach (Paul) McNulty for the effort of my team. It was really bad. Aside from (Ryan) Fisher, our faceoff guy and Alex Moeser, nobody else on our team came to play today and it is disappointing."
Bulkley was certainly hoping for more from the Cardinals, who were coming off back-to-back losses but showed signs of turning the corner in the loss to Wilton last week.
The Cardinals looked to get off on the right foot when Moeser scored on an assist from Sam Saleeby 2:27 into the game.
It was the only lead the Cardinals would hold.
Staples quickly tied the game when Peter Paul scored the first of his three goals at 6:25.
"It feels great," Paul said, "Last year they beat us twice, once in FCIAC and once in regular season, so it is nice to come back and show it to them."
The Wreckers took the lead less than a minute later when Kyle Murray found the back of the cage to make it 2-1.
Staples scored first in the second quarter with Jared Levi making it 3-1.
The Staples' strategy of trying to get the ball inside the Cardinals defense seemed to be effective all afternoon.
"Their poles didn't really press out so we just tried to move the ball a little bit and press inside and get some good looks," Paul said. "I think our offense could have even played better than we did."
Greenwich got a goal from Chase Koorbusch 6:50 into the second quarter to pull the Cardinals within 3-2 but Staples answered right back when Colin Bannon scored to send the Wreckers into halftime with a 4-2 lead.
The story in the second half would be the Wreckers defense as they shut out the Cardinals, only allowing a few looks at the net.
The looks the Cardinals did get were turned away by Staples goalie Cole Gendels, who made six saves on the day.
"Just playing hard," McNulty said. "All of them are pretty good leaders. ... We said that was going to be the best part of our game and they stepped up and played well."
With the defense in lockdown mode, Staples got goals from Paul and Joe Zelkowitz to round out the scoring.
Greenwich looked to rebound quickly when it played host to national powerhouse Chaminade of New York Thursday.
Bulkley is hoping his young team brings a better effort to the field.
"They are a young team and I guess you get that with young teams," Bulkley said. "Taking nothing from Staples, I thought they did a good job but our effort was really poor and I feel bad that Staples probably could have done better with a practice."