It would be easy for Staples High School boys lacrosse head coach Paul McNulty to blame the torrential rain for his team's sloppy performance against Greenwich on Saturday. But he always remembers something his mother said when he was growing up.
"When I played football as a kid, I'd blame a bad game on the rain," McNulty said. "And she would say, 'Yeah, but it was raining for their side, too.'"
Greenwich outshot Staples, 34-14, but the Wreckers hung on until the fourth quarter. The offense looked lost in the final frame, unable to get any odd-man rushes or set up in front of the net. Greenwich scored three goals in the fourth to stun Staples, 8-5. Staples had been averaging 11 goals a game until Saturday.
"We had a lot of turnovers in this one, and you can't come back with as many as we had," McNulty said. "We just had a very uncharacteristic game. Greenwich simply topped us in that last quarter. They kept playing hard, and we didn't."
Both sides struggled through the bad conditions, but for one quarter it looked as though Staples would overcome a slow start. Trailing 3-0 after one quarter and 5-3 at the half, Staples dominated the third quarter.
The Wreckers took advantage of an awful Greenwich shooting percentage, turning the game around. Kib Orban and Peter Paul scored within two minutes of each other, and the game was knotted at five. That would be all the offense Staples could muster. Greenwich's defense clamped down and forced six turnovers in the fourth quarter. Charlie Ross scored Staples' first two goals of the day, and Billy Tahiff notched Staples' third score of the game.
Staples (5-2) will try to rebound Tuesday when it travels to Trumbull for a 4 p.m. game.
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