Staples boys lacrosse beats Weston in opener
WESTPORT — With a good blend of youth and experience, the Staples boys lacrosse team was eager to put a stamp on its season opener and get off on a positive note.
It didn’t take long for the Wreckers to begin firing on all cylinders.
Unleashing all of its energy in the first quarter, Staples netted eight in the first 12 minutes en route to a 15-5 win over the Trojans in the season opener for both teams.
“We’ve been gearing up for this game for a long time,” Staples coach Paul McNulty said. “Staples and Weston have been playing lacrosse since it started at (both schools). Since it was the first game of the season we wanted to be able to perform.”
Connor Chamberlin scored four times while five teammates — Matty Johnson, Michael Reale, Tanner Wood, Evan Zinn and Ross Goldberg — scored twice. Goldberg also dished out five assists as the ball movement remained crisp throughout.
Staples turned the ball over on its first possession after Ben Schwaeber controlled the opening faceoff, but that was the last mistake it would make in the opening quarter. Chamberlin scored less than three minutes into the game and would have a hat trick with 1:30 left in the first quarter as the Wreckers raced out to an 8-0 lead.
“In the (preseason), every couple of possessions we would throw it away,” McNulty said. “We threw it away on the first possession but they all said they weren’t going to do that anymore.”
The lead grew to 12-0 at the half and much of the second was played with a running clock.
Weston began to weather the storm in the second half and tallied twice on man-up situations in the third quarter to break up the shutout. Juniors Quentin Catalano (two goals) and Alec Steinberg (three) combined to supply the offense for last season’s Class S finalist.
The game marked the debut for Weston coach Josh Thornton, who returned to the school after leading Norwalk for a pair of seasons.
“(Staples) played at a faster pace, their stick skills were better,” Thornton said. “They beat us early and we kind of got down on ourselves. We picked it back up in the second half and played a little bit better.”
The Wreckers pressured the visitors all over the field, which led to turnovers and transition opportunities. Schwaeber also won 15 of the 17 draws he took in the game, giving Staples more than enough possessions.
“We had a tough time playing with their speed,” Thornton said. “We’d get the ball and then we would turn it over in the midfield and we couldn’t keep up. That’s a well-coached team.”
Staples visits Danbury on Wednesday in its next contest while Weston hosts New Milford Tuesday.
STAPLES 15, WESTON 5
WESTON 0 0 2 3 — 5
STAPLES 8 4 3 1 — 15
Records: Weston 0-1, Staples 1-0. Scoring: W—Alec Steinberg 3g, 1a; Quentin Catalano 2g, 1a. S—Ross Goldberg 2g, 5a; Connor Chamberlin 4g, 1a; Michael Reale 2g; Matty Johnson 2g, 2a; Tanner Wood 2g, 1a; Evan Zinn 2g, 1a; Nico Rossi 1g; Josh Willis 1a. Goalies: W—Owen Shapiro (3 saves); S—Peter Burger (2 saves).