Staples holds off Wilton boys lax team, 9-8

With only one day off in between games to fix his team's defensive woes, Wilton boys lacrosse head coach John Wiseman decided to switch from man-to-man to zone in Thursday afternoon's game against Staples.

The experiment didn't yield the desired outcome.

Staples (7-4) scored four goals in the first six minutes of the game and then added another late in the first quarter for a 5-0 lead on its way to a 9-8 win over the Warriors at Fujitani Field.

“Put the loss on me,” said Wiseman. “We weren’t getting it done playing man-to-man the last couple of games, so I decided to change it up and try something different. The zone was clearly not effective in the first quarter, so we changed in the second quarter.

"We played better on defense the rest of the way and outscored them over the final three quarters, but the game has four quarters."

The Wreckers completely dominated ball possession in the first quarter, as the Warriors had three brief offensive rushes that resulted in turnovers. Staples' Patrick Lesch had a hat trick in the opening period.

Wilton finally got on the board with 14.7 seconds left in the quarter as Dan Baird got an unassisted goal.

Wilton chipped away at the Wreckers' lead in the second period and closed to within 6-4 by halftime. The Warriors got a man-up goal from Michael Lynch, Baird’s second goal, and a score from Harrison Bardwell. Bardwell’s goal came just as a two-man advantage expired for Wilton.

Staples' lone goal in the period came when it was a man down.

Bardwell then cut the lead to 6-5 with a goal with 9:37 to play in the third. Staples answered with two scores in less than a minute midway through the period to take an 8-5 lead. Reid Melillo got the Warriors closer with a goal with 40.4 seconds left in the quarter, but the Wreckers won the ensuing face-off and scored just 12 seconds later to take a 9-6 lead into the final quarter.

Will Garbus provided the only offense for the home team in the fourth quarter by scoring goals with 9:55 and 1:23 left in the period. Garbus finished the night with three goals for the Warriors.

RJ Romeo, who was out-dueled in the face-off circle all game by Staples' Eric Zurmuehle, won the final draw, but the Wreckers goalie, Cole Gendels, came up with the save and Staples ran the final 45 seconds off the clock for the win.

Josh Worley started in goal for the Warriors and was replaced by Jameson Hill in the second quarter. Hill came up with several big saves in the final eight minutes of play to hold the visitors scoreless for the rest of the period.

Baird added three assists and Brendan Devane had two assists for Wilton, which fell to 5-7.

In addition to Lesch’s three goals, Staples also got three goals from Will Johnson and two goals from Michael Reale.