Published on September 13th, 2017 | by Staples Soccer0
Match Report: Staples vs. Fairfield Warde
At halftime this afternoon, the Staples coaches did not yell and scream at their players.
That’s not their style.
The Wreckers knew they had played a poor half. They surrendered 3 soft goals to a young Fairfield Warde side — including one in the 1st 8 minutes. They were outworked and outplayed. They had dug themselves a huge hole, in just the 3rd match of the season.
But the coaches did say 2 things. They rejiggered the formation, adding a player up top and throwing defensive caution to the winds. The move could pay off in more offense — or it could open the floodgates if the Mustangs continued to run through.
And they told their players to break the 2nd half into 10-minute periods. Get a goal every 10 minutes, and they’d be fine.
The blue-and-whites listened intently. They did not need a tongue-lashing. They needed to get on their horses.
Just 2 minutes in, Nick Ambrose played a ball up the right side. Azam Plummer ran on, cut a textbook pass across the goalmouth, and Timmy Liles ran on to slot it home.
Six minutes after that, keeper Cameron Millington — who commanded his box very well — came off his line. Plummer’s shot whistled high, by inches.
A minute later, Millington saved but gave up a rebound. Patricio Perez Elorza pounced, and buried the ball. Just like that, the 3-0 match had become 3-2.
In the 64th minute, Matt Engler casually fed Perez Elorza, near the goal. The sophomore shot coolly, assuredly — and on target. Bingo! 3-3.
Then the game really got interesting.
A scramble on the Staples goal line was saved by the combined defensive work of Ambrose, Chris Martenson, Callum Wisher and others.
With keeper Ry Cohen booming balls downfield, and the Wreckers slicing balls into the corner — then pressuring defensively whenever they lost the ball — Staples went for the kill. The Liles brothers, Anton Mahr, Tadeo Messenger, Steven Frost, Will Birch, Engler and Plummer led the offensive charge.
They thought they had it 4 minutes from time. Sam Liles’ laced a tough-angle shot, curving from the right corner that beat Millington. It hit the inside of the far post — and somehow, inexplicably, bounced the wrong way, back onto the field.
The Westporters had a few more chances, in what was already one of the strangest, 2-completely-different-half games in their 59-year history.
The match ended 3-3 — Staples’ 2nd consecutive draw. They’re never satisfied with a tie. But tying was a lot better than the result they were looking at 40 minutes earlier.
“Welcome to the FCIAC,” said head coach Dan Woog.
“Every game in this league is a dogfight. We had lots of dogs in this fight in the 2nd half. But we learned a lesson, about the importance of fighting for 80 minutes. Hopefully we’ll never be in a position like that again.
“Our guys gutted it out. They now know they can, when the chips are down. But they don’t want to make a habit of this.” FINAL SCORE: Staples 3, Fairfield Warde 3. SEASON RECORD: 1-0-2.
QUICK KICKS: Cohen — the junior who battled sophomore Teddy O’Kane for the starting keeper spot during pre-season — made his 1st varsity start. O’Kane broke his wrist in the waning moments of training yesterday….
The Wreckers were also without starter Vaughan Sealey. The junior is out with an eye infection….
The reserves downed Fairfield Warde 4-0. Josh Buckman pounced on the rebound of Rob Diorio’s corner kick, for the 1st goal. The Wreckers continued to move the ball with ease in the 2nd half. The 2nd goal came off a Wilson Daniels cross to Josh Zhang. More possession and determination produced a Nick DiMasi strike, getting his own rebound off a great save from the keeper. Emerson Anvari nailed Staples’ final tally with a long chip off the cross bar and in. Standouts included captains Jake Porter and Daniel Leaf, who won a majority of the balls and silenced Warde’s forwards; Diorio, who dictated the play of the game, and Zhang, who worked the sidelines on offense and defense. Kevin Lindwall held his own, making his first start of the season in goal….
The freshmen scored 7 goals for the 2nd straight time. They drubbed Fairfield Warde 7-1. George Smith and Surya Balaji (2 each), Aidan Middlebrook, Alan Fiore and Konur Nordberg all scored. Coach Russell Oost-Lievense cited Logan Blend, Marcos Inglada, Eli Kogan and Ben Lafontan for their strong play too.