A Tale Of Two Seasons: Early Success Leads To Late Season Losses
Charlotte Breig ’12 and Jake Chernok ’13, Staff Writers
May 25, 2012 • 27 views
Filed under Sports
After a tough season, the boys’ lacrosse team enjoyed a bright first quarter in last Saturday afternoon’s FCIAC quarterfinals against Ridgefield at Tiger Hollow, only to fall in the end 15-4.
For Staples, the game looked good early on. After Ridgefield junior midfielder Cal Dearth gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead just 1:31 into the game, the Wreckers fought back, as Peter Paul ’12 answered back just 19 seconds later to tie up the game at one. Minutes later after Paul knotted up the score, it was Kyle Murray ’12 beating Ridgefield goalie Adam Winne to give the Wreckers a 2-1 lead – a lead they would hold for the rest of the first quarter.
However, from that point on the Tigers dominated, outscoring the Wreckers 4-1 in the second quarter. Ridgefield senior attacker Sean Riley gave the Wreckers fits all afternoon as he scored eight goals, including four in the third. The Wreckers were held to only one shot on goal in the period, coming from Jake Frimet ’12.
The Wreckers finally got on the board again in the fourth quarter, snapping Ridgefield’s 12 goals unanswered streak as Joey Zelkowitz ’13 scored with 1:53 left in the game.
Through a challenging spring, the Wreckers persevered, finishing the regular season with a winning 9-7 record.
“The season has been a little tough,” said quad-captain attack player Jake Frimet. “We have a good team, though, and we’re hoping to finish out the season strong.”
The team enters the state championship series next week.
Staples lacrosse faced a difficult schedule because of its success in recent years, going up against challenging teams from Greenwich, Ridgefield, New Canaan, Joel Barlow and Darien, the eighth ranked team in the nation.
At the start of the season, things were looking good for the Wreckers, who had a 6-2 victory over Greenwich for the first time in several years. Shortly after, however, they suffered a five-game losing streak, which finally came to an end with a 5-3 win over St. Joseph on April 28.
Losing five games in a row might tear some teams apart, but the streak had the opposite effect on the Wreckers.
“With most teams, you’d get down on yourselves,” said quad-captain defenseman Adam Levinson ’12. “Our practices just got more intense. We got through the rough patch well as a team.”
Close relationships between every member of the team and a general sense of cooperation are perhaps the team’s greatest strength this season. In past years, there has been more focus on individual talents. This season, their success has been the result of efforts from the entire team.
Quad-captain attack player Peter Paul ’12 is the team’s leading scorer, but the attack has been “pretty balanced” according to head coach Paul McNulty.
“In some ways, that’s better than having one big figure,” he said.
The team is also fortunate to have strong players and leaders across the grade levels, including four freshmen who practice with the varsity team and have seen the field in many of their games.
“The younger kids lead by playing well and making everyone around them work hard,” said McNulty.
One young player whose performance has been a welcome surprise this season is Cole Gendels ’14, the team’s starting goalie. “He was the best at stopping the ball,” said McNulty. “That’s why he got the job.