Lacking a true superstar on the offensive end, the Staples boys lacrosse team is learning to spread the offense amongst a variety of talented scorers.
The Wreckers' stellar defense is giving the offense all the time it needs to find its groove.
Will Johnson (three goals) Conor Chamberlain (two) and Tucker Bobrow (two) combined for seven goals as the Wreckers ran their record to 3-0 with a 9-1 win over Fairfield Warde on Monday afternoon.
The win was fueled by the Wreckers defense, which has yielded six goals in three games this season. Goalie Cole Gendels made 12 saves in the cage.
"(The defense) has great chemistry, we know each other well," Staples' Isaac Paparo said. "It's big to have (Gendels) back there. He's the leader of the chemistry in goal, doing the talking. We're working well right now."
Warde started the game in a positive fashion. The first quarter was controlled by the Mustangs, who forced Gendels into several saves. Unfortunately for the visitors, Staples grabbed the opening goal in transition with 2:20 left in the period. Connor Chamberlain fought off a check from the Warde defense to fire a shot high into the roof of the cage past goalie Jason Nerreau.
Staples added a second goal before the end of the first -- on a goal by Bobrow -- which appeared to take the wind out of the Warde sails. The Wreckers controlled the momentum for the majority of the game from that point.
"We were solid for two-to-three quarters," Mustangs coach Tom Cunningham said. "We came out in the first quarter had some chances; we were solid defensively but towards the end our guys got tired. We didn't' have the ball on offense enough."
Staples extended its lead to 5-1 through three quarters and put the game away in the final period. Trailing down the stretch, Warde was forced to apply more pressure to the ball handler, which gave Johnson and Chamberlain more chances to evade defenders. Chamberlain made it 6-1 early in the fourth on a man-up opportunity and Johnson scored twice in the final five minutes to seal the victory.
"We seem to be very balanced (on offense), Staples coach Paul McNulty said.
Kevin Robinson scored the lone goal for the Mustangs (2-1), who defeated Stamford in their FCIAC opener April 9. Warde was unable to wrestle the ball away from Staples for long periods and when they did errant ground balls and turnovers doomed the visitors.
"We want to make something happen on every possession and that didn't happen," Cunningham said. "When we finally got the ball in the offensive end we did a good job for a possession, but then we had a couple of turnovers that hurt us."