Brendan Lesch and Frankie Bergonzi have worked their magic before for the Staples boys soccer team. They did it again Monday night to lead the Wreckers to the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference championship game.
The senior captains each had a goal and an assist as second-seeded Staples stopped No. 6 Wilton, 2-0, in the semifinals at Fairfield Ludlowe High School. Staples will meet No. 4 Fairfield Warde in Wednesday's championship game at 7 p.m. at Norwalk High School.
Bergonzi scored Staples' first goal with 32 seconds left in the first half. Mikey Scott's long throw-in from the left sideline was headed by Lesch, who flicked it with his head to Bergonzi. The senior defender's header cleanly beat Wilton goalkeeper Mike DeSantis. "We've been working on that at practice,'' said Frankie, who has three goals this year after not scoring previously during his career. "It was nice to see it come through."
Bergonzi and Lesch teamed up for the game's final goal in the 51st minute. Bergonzi streaked down the right side and served a great diagonal ball to Lesch, who brushed it into the goal. Staples pressed the attack in the second half and nearly converted several other opportunities, including a blast by Bergonzi that hit the crossbar with 20 minutes remaining.
Two goals were more than enough for the Wreckers (15-2-1). The Warriors (9-4-4) struggled to score all season with just 18 goals in 17 games. Staples' goalie James Hickock was called on to make just three saves as the Wreckers kept Wilton bottled up.
"Wilton always plays us tough,'' Staples coach Dan Woog said. "They're well-organized defensively and they always give us trouble."
Staples defeated Warde, 2-1, in the first game of the regular season. Warde brings an eight-game winning streak into the game. Staples has won nine straight and is riding a 14-game unbeaten streak. "Warde is a much different team than when we played them,'' Woog said. "But so are we."
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