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Staples boys lacrosse crushes Crusaders in opener

Published 11:36 am, Thursday, April 4, 2013
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Despite a biting wind and temperatures in the 30s, it didn't take long for the Staples High boys lacrosse team to warm up offensively on Wednesday.

Midfielder Joey Zelkowitz scored just 35 seconds into the season -- his first of five goals on the afternoon -- as the Wreckers rolled to a 20-0 win over Trinity Catholic in the opener between the two teams.

Zelkowitz, the team's leading scorer a year ago, netted three goals in succession. Tucker Bobrow also recorded a hat trick and Colin Bannon and Jon Pacilio each scored twice. Eight other Wreckers added goals.

Staples scored nine goals in the first period alone, and built a commanding 16-0 lead at halftime. The lead was more than enough for Staples goalies James Hines and Sean Driscoll, who split duties and were never challenged.

"We wanted to make sure we came out hard," said Staples' Quinn Mendelson, who was one of two Wreckers to scoop up five ground balls, a team-high.

Zelkowitz was happy to set the tone with his early scoring outburst, but he noted that the lopsided score also gave the newcomers a chance to play.

"It's all about getting the other kids a look today. They stepped up and did a good job," Zelkowitz said.

Freshmen Michael Reale, Matthew Johnson and Connor Adrian were among the goal scorers.

Jared Levi and Eric Zurmuehle served as face-off specialists and combined to control the ball on seemingly every draw. Staples maintained possession throughout the contest.

Garrett Jordan, along with Mendelson, scooped five ground balls, while Levi and Ryan Moran each had four ground balls for the Wreckers.

Staples used good, efficient passing to set up the goals. The Wreckers recorded nine assists, led by Reale with four.

"We played well together and that's one of the things we're looking to work on," Levi said.

Staples coach Paul McNulty was pleased that the team's work in practice -- focused on controlling the ball and setting up scoring chances -- translated over to the game.

"We're trying to work on having very intense practices," he said.

Staples (1-0) will next be in action on Saturday at noon when it hosts Newtown.

With several challenging FCIAC contests in the near future -- beginning with Tuesday at Greenwich -- the Wreckers have already gained some confidence off their first win.

"I think we did pretty well -- good starting point, but we've got to build off every game," defender Lance Lonegran said. "There's always room for improvement."

Andy Hutchison is a freelance writer

STAPLES 20, TRINITY CATHOLIC 0

TRINITY CATHOLIC 0 0 0 0--0

STAPLES 9 7 2 2--20

Goals: S -- Joey Zelkowitz 5, Tucker Bobrow 3, Colin Bannon 2, Jon Pacilio 2, Eric Zurmuehle, Greg Strauss, Lance Lonergan, Tim LaHiff, Michael Reale, Matthew Johnson, Ryan Moran, Connor Adrian. Assists: S -- Reale 4, Bannon 2, Kevin Smith, Johnson, Pacilio. Goalies: S -- James Hines (5 saves), Sean Driscoll (0).

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