Published on October 2nd, 2020 | by Staples Soccer


Match Report: Staples vs. Danbury

The Wreckers’ looooong pre-season finally ended. The first game of the COVID-shortened regular season took place today. And, in typical 2020 fashion, there was a lot going on.

Rain in the morning pushed the match to Wakeman; sun in the afternoon brought it back to Loeffler Field. Student fans were not allowed, but parent spectators were. The livestream — with guest announcer Steve McCoy, co-captain of the 1970 FCIAC and state champion team — drew over 130 viewers.

They — and those on The Hill — saw 2 very different matches. The first half began with the blue-and-whites attacking strongly. Surya Balaji — in his debut at the center of the field — was a defensive stalwart, and spread the play out well. Staples attacked from both sides, with Alan Fiore being particularly pesky on the left.

The back four of co-captain Jack Douglas, juniors Ryan Thomas and Jackson Hochhauser, and sophomore Ben Douglas, kept the Hatters at bay for nearly the entire half.

Will Adams provided a spark off the bench. A couple of combinations — like Balaji to George Smith to Fiore — nearly bore fruit. Balaji’s free kick into the box with 10 seconds left in the half nearly connected.

But the second 40 minutes was a very different story. Danbury clawed their way back. Jack Douglas saved an early ball off the goal line, then made another equally important clearance later. Keeper Sebi Montoulieu saved over the top.

Murilo Moreno provided some moments for the Westporters, but in the 60th minute Cris Carrasco’s lofted ball from the far right side gave the visitors the lead.

Staples came back, and had great chances 7 minutes from time when the keeper bobbled the ball, and a second shot was deflected back into play. But the third attempt flew wide.

Four minutes later, with the Wreckers’ using only 3 backs, Carrasco got his second goal.

But with 1:35 to go, Smith’s ball over the top and Jack Douglas’ shot led to a rebound. Junior Reese Watkins finished calmly.

That was not enough, though. Danbury ran out the clock, and headed north with the win.

In this coronavirus-infected season, the FCIAC has been divided into 3 divisions. Staples has 5 foes — Danbury, Ridgefield, Wilton, Norwalk and Brien McMahon — and plays each one back to back, home and home.

So Monday the Wreckers travel to Danbury. They’re looking for revenge — and their first win of the long-delayed season. Game time is 4:30 p.m. FINAL SCORE: Danbury 2, Staples 1. SEASON RECORD: 0-1-0.

QUICK KICKS: Last year, the Hatters edged Staples 1-0 in the second match of the year. The Wreckers came back to knock out the higher-seeded Hatters by the same score, in the first round of the FCIAC tournament….

The reserves and freshmen open their seasons tomorrow (Saturday) at Staples, with 12 noon and 2 p.m. matches against Danbury….

This was co-captain Jack Douglas’ first match ever at Loeffler Field. He missed all of sophomore year with a back injury, and tore his ACL 20 minutes into last fall’s season opener at Central….

Congratulations to reserves captains: Spencer Levine and Aidan Mermagen.

Alan Fiore strides by. (Photo/Brian Watkins)


Surya Balaji anchors midfield. (Photo/Brian Watkins)


Graham Barnes reaches far for the ball. (Photo/Brian Watkins)


Haydn Siroka wins a header. (Photo/Drew Douglas)


Jack Douglas brings it out of the back. (Photo/Drew Douglas)


George Smith on the attack. (Photo/Drew Douglas)


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