Boys’ lacrosse storms back to defeat Darien in thriller


The Staples Wreckers came back to defeat the Darien Blue Wave 13-11 in a thrilling matchup. (Photo contributed by Adam Udell ’25)

The Staples boys’ lacrosse came back to defeat Darien 13-11 on April 15 in a matchup between two of the best lacrosse public high schools in the country. The highly anticipated game certainly did not disappoint.

The taste of revenge was sweet for Darien as they jumped out to an 8-1 lead. However, that sweetness quickly turned a little bit sour for the Blue Wave as the Wreckers rallied to shorten that lead to a much more manageable 8-4 just before halftime.

“We came out slow and allowed Darien to get a big lead on us, which put our backs against the wall early,” Cameron Prior ’25 said. “But I think those three goals at the end of the first half to bring us within four were critical.”

After Staples’ routing of Darien in the 2022 CIAC Class L Lacrosse Championship, the Blue Wave boys came to Staples looking for revenge.

Once halftime commenced and the two star-studded squads took the field again, the Wreckers looked like a completely different team. Jay Anastasi ’24 was one of many players who helped Staples shift the momentum; Anastasi dominated his faceoffs, regaining possession for the Wreckers over and over again. The offense and Tyler Clark ’23  finally found some production against Darien’s strong defense, scoring five goals in the third, but Darien still remained on top 10-9 heading into the fourth quarter.

“That third quarter was definitely important for us,” Adam Udell ’25, who scored once for Staples, said. “It shortened their lead and gave us momentum heading into the fourth.”

The stage was set for a riveting final quarter of play between two powerhouses of high school lacrosse. Brady Pokorny out of Darien, who found the back of the net six times in the tie, kicked off the fourth quarter scoring with a left-hand shot, beating Staples goaltender Scott Kosakowsi ’23, giving the Blue Wave a two goal cushion. Staples, down 11-9 with just over seven minutes of play remaining, didn’t panic under pressure.

Michael Nealon ’23 responded quickly to the Darien goal, cutting the lead to one as the game intensified by the second. Staples, with momentum and the ball, searched for an equalizer against Darien’s defense as they held firm. With under 4 minutes remaining, Gavin Rothenberg ’23 scored two in quick succession to put Staples ahead of their rivals 12-11.

An unreal matchup between the two teams was capped off by Tyler Clark ’23, who scored his fourth goal of the day on an empty net to complete an unbelievable comeback by the Wreckers.