Greenwich defense overcomes Staples, onfield obstacles

Greenwich High goalie Tommy Rogan was key to the Cardinals' defense in a win at Staples. (Mike Ross/For Hearst Connecticut Media)

Greenwich High goalie Tommy Rogan was key to the Cardinals’ defense in a win at Staples.
(Mike Ross/For Hearst Connecticut Media)

The showdown between the Staples and Greenwich boys lacrosse teams Tuesday was moved from Staples High School to Wakeman as a result of a track meet. The relocation did neither team any favors as Greenwich prevailed 5-3 to remain undefeated this season.

The lack of a scoreboard created havoc for both sides, especially early. Each team took a number of penalties in the first quarter, and there was much confusion about release times. The lines on the field were also unclear, according to Greenwich coach Scott Bulkley.

“There is no scoreboard, so (my players) couldn’t tell what time it was,” Bulkley said. “We ran out of bounds 3 or 4 times because you can’t see the sidelines. It gets frustrating because you don’t expect those things to come into play when you show up for a game.”

The Wreckers have arrived on the FCAIC scene over the past several seasons with a deliberate approach on offense and a rock solid defense. Both were on display Tuesday, but the offense was unable to put enough away against an outstanding Cardinals defense.

“We’re beyond moral victories,” Staples coach Paul McNulty said. “We’re playing to beat the big boys of the FCIAC. Greenwich had some very good players and they came up big.”

One area the Wreckers did excel in was the faceoff circle. Eric Zurmuehle won most of the draws on the afternoon, but the lack of number of draws limited his impact on the game.

The win avenged a 6-5 loss to the Wreckers in last years’ Class L quarterfinals, which ended the Cardinals’ season.

“We wanted to do it for our (outgoing) seniors,” said Greenwich’s Kyle Foote, who had a goal and an assist Tuesday. “I was out for that game (through injury), so I wanted to do it for my teammates. We wanted to come out and prove we were the better team.”

Greenwich doesn’t get much time to celebrate the win, because it faces Fairfield Prep Thursday. The defending Class L champions are off to a blistering start this season and have yet to lose to a state opponent.

“Yes it’s Prep and we have a rivalry with them but we still need to work on stuff for us,” Bulkley said. “I keep telling our guys it’s not about who we play it’s about what we do as a team.”

Ryan Lacey