Published on October 5th, 2020 | by Staples Soccer0
Match Report: Staples At Danbury
The FCIAC’s COVID-induced format adds a new wrinkle to the Staple soccer season.
The Wreckers face 5 different opponents — all back-to-back, in a home-and-away format. It breaks the 10-game schedule into 5 mini-dramas. The story lines will be intriguing. For example: After losing 2-1 to Danbury on Friday at home, could Staples bounce back on the road against the Hatters, 3 days later?
The format creates intriguing twists. A quick lineup change or two could produce dividends. The Westporters tweaked their lineup a bit this afternoon. Jackson Hochhauser moved from right back to left. Jack Foster took over on the right. Will Adams lined up at right midfield, while Reese Watkins — Friday’s goal scorer — earned a start up top. All 4 are juniors.
The Westporters have 3 excellent keepers. Enzo Valadares got the call today.
Staples struck first, in the 12th minute. Foster’s long cross from the right side found Murilo Moreno’s head, for a sweet-looking score.
The blue-and-whites had another good opportunity when a ball from Surya Balaji — the wide-ranging center midfielder — found Adams.
The Wreckers’ short passing game looked crisper than it had in the first match. They found feed and spread out, frustrating the hosts who could not find their rhythm.
But Danbury’s quick counters are always dangerous. They threatened in the 33rd minute, only to be thwarted by Jack Douglas’ goal line clearance.
On Friday, the Hatters shrugged off a ragged first half, and pressured Staples often in the final 40 minutes. Danbury started the second half the same way, but the Wreckers did not cede control. Adams’ quick cross to Murilo almost doubled their lead. Speedy Alan Fiore created chances on the left side. The visitors’ back 4 — which, after an injury to Jack Douglas, consisted of Balaji, Hochhauser, Foster and Ben Douglas — held a good high line, covered for each other well, and distributed with poise.
In the 65th minute, a seemingly innocuous play changed the game. Staples thought they had a throw-in at midfield in front of the bleachers. But the Hatters threw it in, and a quick pass led to a well-timed header goal.
The Wreckers came right back. They attacked fiercely, penetrating into the box several times. But Danbury withstood the pressure, ensuring a draw.
The next 2-game series is with Wilton. The first match is Wednesday, 4:30 p.m. at Kristine Lilly Field. Click here for the livestream. FINAL SCORE: Staples 1, Danbury 1. SEASON RECORD: 0-1-1.
QUICK KICKS: Ray Flanigan ’69 and Robert Brickley — son of Neil Brickley ’70 — were today’s livestream announcers. They received plenty of props for the mixture of game commentary and history ….
Two players made their varsity debuts today: Valadares and Matt Jordan….
The reserves opened their season Saturday, with a 4-0 defeat by Danbury. The freshmen earned a 1-1 draw with the Hatters, on a late penalty kick by Adam Kostek. Aldo Lopez played well in goal; Felix Haug was strong defensively, and Chase Watkins had a strong match offensively.