Indians contain Lesch in denying Staples boys soccer the Class LL title
Containing Brendan Lesch is a mission for the Staples boys soccer team's opponents. Although Farmington Coach Steve Waters won't admit it to double-teaming or triple-teaming him, his defense focused on stopping Lesch in the Class LL finals on Saturday and moreover, his strategy was a success. This was instrumental in sixth-seeded Farmington's 2-1 upset victory over fifth-seeded Staples at Municipal Stadium in Waterbury in the Class LL championship game.
"We knew he [Lesch] was dangerous and we wanted to pay attention to where he was when he was in the box," Waters said. "We had one guy assigned to the first touch in the box."
Whenever Lesch touched the ball, he was guarded tightly by at least one Indian but at times, by two or three Farmington players. Indian senior tri-captain Colin Troxell, classmate Mike DiTomasso, junior Julian Rose and sophomore Danny Manfredi spearheaded the defense and at various times, covered Lesch like a blanket.
"Their defense was excellent and did a great job," Woog said.
Lesch received many crisp passes into the box from senior tri-captain Sean Gallagher and classmate Mikey Scott located him inside with many throw-ins. However, once the ball came his way, either Troxell, DiTomasso, Rose or Manfredi were there to breathe down his neck. Usually, it was Troxell and DiTomasso simultaneously kept him at bay.
Although the Notre Dame-bound Lesch tried to go towards the goal on a few passes and tried to head it on other occasions, Troxell, DiTomasso or one of their teammates were there to counteract it. They would either force Lesch to take a much-lower percentage shot or turn it over.
"Farmington is a good team and they played well today," Lesch said. "They played tough defense and they deserved it. We had a good run and I'm proud of the team."