Published on November 4th, 2020 | by Staples Soccer0
Match Report: Staples vs. Brien McMahon
The Wreckers missed their 2 regular season matches with Brien McMahon this year. They scrimmaged during pre-season. But the Senators were on COVID quarantine during their scheduled back-to-back contests last month.
They came off their layoff ready to play. Staples — the #2 seed — hosted them in today’s Central Division semifinal. Anyone who thought either team would take the match lightly — or believed it was not like a real post-season game — should have been among the small crowd on The Hill.
It was a battle from the start. The Wreckers were missing flank midfielder George Smith — who delivered an inspiring pre-game speech via text — but Marcos Inglada stepped up well. The Senators seemed a step quicker through much of the first half, and forced keeper Enzo Valadares into a pair of tough saves. The Westporters had their moments too though, with an Inglada-to Haydn Siroka-to Alan Fiore combination their best chance.
Two minutes before intermission, a McMahon header off a corner kick found the net. Set pieces have been Staples’ Achilles heel this season, and despite working diligently on defending them, they were vulnerable again today.
Energized after halftime, Valadares’ long punt to Siroka was saved just 1 minute in. Siroka continued to have solid chances, and Fiore drove into the box well too. Bruno Guiduli, Surya Balaji, Jackson Hochhauser and Jack Foster contributed solid defense, and Ryan Thomas came on at midfield to lend some bite.
Play grew harder as time grew short. The Wreckers went a man down, after a red card to Balaji with 10 minutes remaining. Still they pushed forward — and the Senators did too.
It was a bitter finish to a shortened, very different type of season. But though they played far fewer games, and had no FCIAC or state tournament to compete in, the feeling of finality was as strong as any year that preceded it. FINAL SCORE: Brien McMahon 1, Staples 0. FINAL SEASON RECORD: 3-3-2.
QUICK KICKS: In an emotional interview with Dave Ruden after the match, McMahon coach Rodrigo Guzman said this was the first time he’d ever won at Loeffler Field — as a Senator player or coach ….
On Saturday the freshmen fell to an excellent Norwalk side, 3-1. Chase Watkins fed Lucas Carpi for the lone goal. Ethan Ambrose, Matthew Delman and Felix Haug excelled defensively.
Bruno Guiduli steps up defensively. (Photo/Barry Guiduli)