Published on June 23rd, 2022 | by Staples Soccer0
FCIAC/CCC Challenge Cup Debuts This Fall
There’s no doubt: the FCIAC and CCC are the top 2 soccer leagues in the state.
Teams from either the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference or the Central Connecticut Conference have won the CIAC (Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference) Class LL (extra-large schools) boys soccer championship 15 of the last 16 years it has been held. In 6 of those title matches, an FCIAC team battled one from the upstate CCC.
This September, they’ll get a chance to compete during the regular season.
Since last fall, former Staples head coach Dan Woog and Mark Landers — his friend and former counterpart at Glastonbury High, who switched last year from the boys side to coaching girls — have worked to create a “challenge series.” Think of it as high school’s soccer version of the famed ACC/Big Ten men’s college basketball event.
They settled on late September dates. Ten boys teams from each league jumped at the chance. (Girls teams were less interested in participating, and/or found scheduling difficult. Only two teams from each league will compete.)
Staples boys fans will be particularly excited. The Wreckers face Glastonbury at 3 p.m. on Saturday, September 23. The longtime rivals have met 11 times in the state tournament. The Tomahawks hold a 6-5 edge. The first encounter was in 1959 — Staples’ first year in the event, a 1-0 Wrecker loss). The most recent was 2019. The Westporters came from behind in the final 7 minutes to win 3-2.
The teams have faced each other in pre-season scrimmages too. But this will be their first regular season match.
Landers secured the FSA site in Farmington, so multiple games can be played at once. It will be a soccer fan’s delight — and a draw for college coaches too.
“We’re always trying to highlight high school soccer,” Woog says. “This is a perfect way to do it. It will create a lot of buzz. And every game will be very competitive.”
Friday, September 23
- 5:30 p.m. Ridgefield vs Avon
- 5:30 p.m. Brien McMahon vs South Windsor
Saturday, September 24
- 12:30 p.m. Danbury vs. Southington
- 12:30 p.m. Farmington vs Trumbull Field
- 12:30 p.m. Westhill vs. East Hartford
- 3 p.m. Staples vs. Glastonbury
- 3 p.m. Wilton vs. Newington
- 6 p.m. Wethersfield vs. New Canaan
- 6 p.m. Greenwich vs. Hall
- 6 p.m. Darien vs. Conard
For the CT Insider story, click here.