All afternoon, the Staples and New Canaan High boys lacrosse teams fought to gain little more separation from the other on the scoreboard.
After more than 54 minutes, the Wreckers grabbed the upper hand -- for good.
Junior midfielder Will Johnson scored with 3:04 left in double overtime to lift Staples to an 8-7 upset of defending FCIAC champion New Canaan on Saturday at home.
The win was the Wreckers' first over New Canaan in program history, Staples coach Paul McNulty said.
"It was absolutely awesome because we were underdogs in this game," Johnson said. "It was just unbelievable to win."
"It was a perfect shot," McNulty said. "That's kind of like Will's spot. He's scored quite a few goals from that exact position. Colin made a great feed to him."
Undefeated coming into the day, New Canaan (5-1) led 5-4 after three quarters, then grabbed a 7-5 advantage on Teddy Bossidy's goal with 9:51 left. The Rams sat on that lead for more than six minutes, until Staples midfielder Joey Zelkowitz netted his third goal with 3:08 remaining.
After trailing for the entire fourth quarter, the Wreckers tied it 7-7 with 18 seconds left on Bannon's goal, which beat Nader top-shelf.
"It's disappointing," New Canaan coach Chip Buzzeo said of the loss. "That's a great team. ... They beat us to every ground ball, they made the shots that they needed to make."
McNulty credited his team for staying aggressive, despite trailing late.
"When they got the two-goal lead there in the fourth, we seemed to play harder. ... They (Staples) played harder and harder as the game went on, right through overtime," he said. "They even played harder than the whole game in overtime.
"We almost controlled it a little bit in overtime."
Five different players scored for Staples (5-2) in the win, led by Zelkowitz, who netted two of his three goals in the first half. Bannon scored twice, while Patrick Lesch, Jon Pacilio and Johnson had the other goals.
Both teams took a while to settle in offensively, as Zelkowitz scored the game's first goal 8:11 into the opening quarter. Bossidy evened the score 1-1 on the man advantage with 1:36 left.
"We were just trying to slow the game down and pick our opportunities wisely," Zelkowitz said.
New Canaan took its first lead with 10:54 left in the second quarter on a goal by Johnson. The Rams pushed their lead to 3-1 before Zelkowitz scored with 2:18 left before haltime, tucking a shot just inside the near post.
Afterward, Buzzeo put the loss on his shoulders.
"We just didn't execute," Buzzeo said.
The Wreckers, who outshot New Canaan 31-30 and collected 30 ground balls, have now won two straight since a 13-2 loss to Ridgefield. And this win meant a whole lot to the Wreckers.
"It's a huge step because New Canaan has always been a top-tier team in the FCIAC," Johnson said. "We're just sort of getting there, so beating them is unbelievable for the program."
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STAPLES 8, NEW CANAAN 7 (2 OT)
NEW CANAAN 1 3 1 2 0 0 -- 7
STAPLES 1 1 2 3 0 1 -- 8
Records: New Canaan 5-1; Staples 5-2.
Scoring: NC -- Teddy Bossidy (2g), Peter Richardson (2g), Henry Stanton (1g, 1a), Cole Turpin (1g), Pete Johnson (1g), Duke Repko (1a); S -- Colin Bannon (2g, 2a), Joey Zelkowitz (3g), Patrick Lesch (1g, 1a), Will Johnson (1g), Jon Pacilio (1g). Goalies: NC -- Trent Nader; S -- Cole Gendels (12 saves). Shots: NC -- 30; S -- 31.