If you had been waiting for a complete effort like the one the Staples put forth on Monday afternoon against Greenwich, you weren't alone.

The Wreckers' 1-0 win over red-hot Greenwich--a winner of six straight entering the day--was everything that head coach Dan Woog was hoping for. From forward Diego Alanis' goal in the 3rd minute to spark a lively bunch at Loeffler Field to a final stand on defense, these Wreckers looked more like the Wreckers of old.

"It's what we've been capable of all year and really haven't done, which is 80 minutes of hard, tough, smart soccer," Woog said. "The guys covered for each other, they shifted, they followed up a great shot with an excellent rebound, which we haven't done."

Alanis' goal was just what the Wreckers needed--a confidence-builder for an inconsistent attack--and for the first time in a while, they had a chance to close out what they started.

"It was so big," said senior midfielder Joe Greenwald, who set up Alanis' goal by sending in a ball from nearly 40 yards out that bounced off the crossbar. "We've had trouble in the past holding onto leads. ... It felt really good to close out a lead and get three points."

After recording a total of four points in its previous four matches (1-2-1), Staples sorely needed that result--Alanis said as much afterward.

"I'm just happy for the team. We really needed these three points," Alanis said. "You've got to get back on track. We've had a couple hard games."

Staples still has room to grow, especially after it bid adieu to nine starters from last year's FCIAC final team, but its certainly taken a significant step in that process. The Wreckers know what they have in net in senior goalkeeper James Hickok, an all-state selection in 2011, and at a few other spots, and are waiting for the potential of others to show.

"We've got a back line that's all underclassmen. They took a huge step forward," Woog said. "The seniors have provided tremendous leadership all year. ... I think this was definitely a team effort, led by the seniors."

We're all still waiting to see what Staples can be this season, but performances like the one against Greenwich speak volumes.

"You want the tough games. You want to be playing at home. You want to be in games that mean something," Woog said. "You want to have to battle. These are the games we live for."

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