Staples Boys’ Lax Rolls to 12-0 win over Newington in Class L State Playoffs

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Quad Captain Kip Orban '11 sidesteps a defender on his way to the goal. | Photo by Meghan Prior '11

DJ Sixsmith ’11
Web Sports Editor

Quad Captain Kip Orban '11 sidesteps a defender on his way to the goal. | Photo by Meghan Prior '11

After being upset by St. Joes in the first round of the FCIAC playoffs last week, the Staples boys’ lacrosse team bounced back and beat Newington High School by the final score of 12-0 in the first round of the Class L state playoffs.

Behind hat tricks from senior quad captain Nate Greenberg and senior Jeff Kelly, the Wreckers had no problem handling the 17th seeded Newington Indians as Staples exploded for seven goals in the fourth quarter.

While the score was lopsided at game’s end, the visiting Indians kept things close early on. The strong goal keeping of freshman Matt Gajowiak and physical defense play kept the Wreckers off the board for most of the first quarter.

However, junior captain Kip Orban quickly changed that when he scored the first goal of the game by faking a pass and firing the ball past the stick of Gajowiak. The freshman goalie would help the Wrecker cause later in the first when he hit the ball into his own net to make the score 2-0. The goal would be credited to Greenberg because he was the closest to it.

The Wreckers continued to put pressure on the Indian defense in the second quarter when Kelly cut through the middle of the Newington zone to score his first goal of the game making it 3-0 Staples.

The story of this game was the Staples offense as starting Wrecker goalie Austin Waiter needed to make just 4 saves all game. The smooth transition from defense to offense made Waiter’s work easy as senior captain Jack Ambrose and juniors Matt Yeager and Greg Lewis kept Newington out of the offensive zone.

While they missed out on several good looks in the front of net, the Wreckers ended the second quarter on a high note when sophomore Jake Frimet sneaked his way inside the Indian zone and flipped the ball in off a quick pass from Kelly to make it 5-0 at the half.

After coming out flat in the first half, the Indians began to turn the tide in the third quarter by increasing the physicality of the game. Hard hitting from the visiting team forced the top-seeded team to resort to a slow down set on offense.

However this did not put an end to the scoring for the Wreckers as Greenberg scored his second goal of the game midway through the third period when he split two defenders to make the count 5-0.

With room to breathe, the Wreckers sat in a comfortable seat heading into the fourth quarter up five. However, the team was clearly not satisfied with where they stood as Staples went on to score seven goals in the fourth quarter alone. Greenberg began the offensive exhibition with a pretty move in front, giving him a hat trick for the game.

Seniors Brandon Waiter and Keith Gelman each followed with a goal of their own. With the score at 8-0, Kelly and junior attack Charlie Ross took over, each scored two goals in the final period.

Ross’ proved to be the most impressive since he scored both goals on long drives from the top of the box after he had seen the head of his stick completely fly off just minutes before.

With the win the Wreckers move on to face the winner of the Trumbull/Simsbury matchup on Saturday at home. The win marked the first win for Staples in the state tournament since 1999 and the team improved their record to 17-1 overall.