The Staples' boys soccer team is one win from a historic milestone that would be impressive for even one of the state's most decorated programs. The Wreckers defeated Hall of West Hartford on Wednesday night in West Haven, 8-2, and will play Farmington for the Class LL championship Saturday at 1 p.m. at Waterbury's Municipal Stadium. It will try to become the first Staples team to repeat as state champions since 1981 and 1982. The '81 team was co-champions.
Staples rolled to the championship game behind two goals from Brendan Lesch. Also, Steve Denowitz, Court Lake, Lorenz Esposito, Steve Smith, A.J. Green and Alex Tonsberg connected for the Wreckers (20-2-1), which built a 2-0 halftime lead before putting the game away in the second half.
"This was absolutely a team effort," head coach Dan Woog said. "And the final score may not show it, but this was as much a defensive win as an offensive one.
"Coaches Kurt Dasbach and Tom Henske have stressed defense all year. They've created a great alignment, given our guys tremendous confidence, and inspired them to play like tigers. It all came together today and it all starts with Kurt and Tom. Huge props, too, of course, to all the guys who made it happen all over the field."
Staples will try to become the first team since Naugatuck in 2001 and 2002 to win consecutive Class LL championships. Staples is in the title game for the third time in five years. It beat New Milford, 4-0, in last year's championship game. Staples' seniors are 12-2 for their career in state tournament games, including a nine-game winning streak. On the season, Staples is 19-0-1 after starting the year 1-2.
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