WESTPORT -- Dan Woog wasn't willing to accept relinquishing another early lead and the inconsistencies on the pitch that went along with it.

In just 40 minutes of soccer on Thursday afternoon, he had seen more missed opportunities than he wanted to and believed that Staples--tied 1-1 at halftime with Westhill--was a far better squad than it had showed.

"We are not big on yelling. We seldom yell. But we did at halftime," Woog said. "We told them that it was not Staples soccer. It was unacceptable. We've squandered leads before and it couldn't happen again if they expected to make the run that they want to make."

Heeding their coach's advice, Staples made sure it didn't happen again.

The Wreckers put forth an inspired effort in the second half, as they dominated the possession and pulled away for a 4-1 win over Westhill at Loeffler Field.

"They responded magnificently," Woog said. "They stepped it up, they talked, they communicated. They kept the ball on the ground, they got goals. ¦ It was exactly what we wanted. It was a Staples-worthy performance."

In the 44th minute, senior forward Noah Bender put Staples up for good when he collected a ball from Jordan McNair, and tucked a shot just inside the near post, beating goalkeeper Jonathan Escobar.

"The coaches, they gave a great halftime speech and kind of inspired us all to work really hard in the second half," Bender said. "We responded really well."

Staples, which has now won five of its last six matches, improved to 9-4-1 on the season. Westhill fell to 6-8-1.

"We got outplayed," Westhill head coach Joe Andrews said. "It was just a matter of Staples wanting it a lot more. It was clearly the case in the second half."

The Wreckers held a commanding 18-3 edge in shots, including 12-2 in the second half, and created some distance on the scoreboard with their aggressive play around the net.

In the 61st minute, junior forward Diego Alanis beat Escobar on a penalty kick after McNair was taken down in the box. Freshman Joseph Pravder capped the scoring in the 74th minute.

"They stepped up nicely and we couldn't be prouder of them," Woog said.

That dominating performance came on the heels of an evenly played first half, in which Staples jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second minute on senior midfielder Joe Greenwald's goal. The Vikings knotted it up in the 12th minute when Jacques Baudoin got his foot on the ball among a crowd of defenders and beat goalkeeper James Hickok far side.

While Staples felt it could've done more in the first 40 minutes, the Vikings were confident of the position they were in.

Andrews, however, was hoping that his team would carry that same performance into the second half.

"They couldn't have asked for anything better to be in the situation we were in, tied with Staples at halftime," Andrews said. "We knew we had to come out with more momentum and they didn't rise to the challenge.

"Staples did and that was the difference."

Hickok made three saves in goal for Staples, while Escobar stopped six shots for Westhill.

dbonjour@scni.com; 203-255-4561 ext. 114; twitter.com/DougBonjour

STAPLES 4, WESTHILL 1

WESTHILL 1 0--1

STAPLES 1 3--4

Records: Westhill 6-8-1; Staples 9-4-1.

Goals: W--Jacques Baudoin; S--Joe Greenwald, Noah Bender, Diego Alanis, Joseph Pravder. Assists: S--Jack Scott, Jordan McNair. Goalies: W--Jonathan Escobar (6 saves); S--James Hickok (3). Shots: W--3; S--18.