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Published on October 21st, 2013 | by Staples Soccer


Game Report: Staples vs. Fairfield Ludlowe

Yesterday, the Wreckers had perhaps their best training session of the year. They moved the ball very quickly. Their tight passing was on. They spread the field well.

But when today’s Senior Day match began at Loeffler Field, 10-3-1 Fairfield Ludlowe controlled the tempo against the 10-2-2 Wreckers.

Andrew Puchala returned to the back line for Staples, after a 10-day layoff (muscle pull). Connor Weiler played briefly, following his month-long absence (hamstring). Gabe Pensak also took the field for the first time, after his long recovery from a concussion.

Still, the Wreckers generated little in the way of a cohesive attack. The Falcons’ long throw was a dangerous weapon, though Staples’ tight defense negated it often. The Westporters also stepped up nicely, catching Ludlowe offsides often.

In the 35th minute, though, the Wreckers took the lead. Diego Alanis won a ball at midfield. He found Patrick Beusse on the outside. The junior drove the sideline and baseline, then ripped a shot that the keeper bobbled. Joe Pravder followed right up, smashing the rebound into the back of the net.

But the visitors equalized just 5 seconds before halftime. Richie Bellucci finished a lofting corner kick from the base of the hill, with the sun in every player’s eyes.

When the 2nd half began, Yousef Shahin did a good job of working the left side. Staples answered Ludlowe’s throw with their own weapon: Steven Sobel. In the 56th minute, Alanis fed fellow captain Jack Scott, whose volley just missed.

The Falcons took the lead 2 minutes later. Billy Donatuti took advantage of a slip-up on defense, firing from close range.

Alanis’ free kick 4 minutes later led to a corner kick. Staples had a chance, but were offside. Alanis had another opportunity on a free kick. Scott earned a corner kick. In the 71st minute, Alanis and Pravder nearly connected, but the final shot was whiffed.

Meanwhile, the action got chippy. The officials showed Ludlowe 3 yellow cards; Staples saw 2.

The Falcons managed the game to the end, and leapfrogged over Staples into 3rd place in the FCIAC standings. Greenwich is #1; Ridgefield is 2. One game remains for all teams. The Wreckers travel to Westhill tomorrow; Ludlowe has Norwalk on Wednesday.

“Give plenty of credit to Ludlowe,” Staples head coach Dan Woog said. “They took us out of our game. Now we’ve got to turn right around and play a very good Westhill team in just a few hours. This will tell us what kind of team we have. I’m betting on our guys — big time. They’ve faced adversity all year long. This is one more time they’ll rise to the occasion.” FINAL SCORE: Fairfield Ludlowe 2, Staples 1. SEASON RECORD: 10-3-2.

QUICK KICKS: The junior varsity beat Fairfield Ludlowe 6-1, though the match was closer than the score shows. Denzel Robinson led the way with a hat trick. Grant Sirlin and Jared Vishno also scored, while the Falcons suffered an own goal. Andrew Osorio (goalkeeper), Aidan Wisher and Jack Zeldes looked particularly strong….

The freshmen went up 1-0 against Fairfield Ludlowe on Daniel Reid’s free kick. The Falcons knotted the score, but 2 minutes later Spencer Daniels finished a goalmouth scramble. The insurance goal in the 3-1 victory came when Brandon Harrington volleyed in Teddy Lawrence’s throw.

Joe Pravder fires against Fairfield Ludlowe. His goal gives Staples a lead. (Photo/Kim Lake)


Superfan Laura Blair bakes cookies for Senior Day — with each senior’s number on the icing. (Photo/Kim Lake)





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