Published on October 27th, 2021 | by Staples Soccer0
Match Report: Staples vs. Fairfield Ludlowe
In 2000, Staples roared through the regular season, FCIAC playoffs and first 3 rounds of the state tournament undefeated.
They faced Fairfield High School in the LL semifinals. Despite a monsoon with high winds and heavy rains, the match was played — the only one in all 4 divisions to not be postponed.
Fairfield won 2-1, on a wet ball that slipped through the keeper’s hands. The team finished 19-1-1 — at one point ranked #3 in the US — but more than 20 years later, no one on that squad has forgotten that brutal finish.
All yesterday, a nor’easter whipped Fairfield County. The Wreckers were scheduled to play another Fairfield team — Ludlowe — in the final match of the regular season. The weather might have evened the odds for the lower-ranked Falcons. But the match was pushed back to tonight.
Ludlowe celebrated Senior Night at Taft Field. They started an all 12th grade team, and began well. But the visitors soon made their mark on the tempo and style of the game.
The first goal came in the 10th minute. Dylan Hoke played a ball to Reese Watkins. He beat the central defender, cut in, and powered a shot into the far side netting.
Seven minutes later Bruno Guiduli lofted a free kick to Caleb Tobias, who volleyed home one of the most beautiful goals in a season that has seen many of them.
Another defender — Jack Foster — started goal number 3. His cross found Matt Jordan, who finished alertly.
There was no further scoring. But the second half saw continued strong, Staples-style play, from a host of players. Matthew Genser, Ben Douglas and Spencer Levine helped preserve the shutout defensively. Ryan Thomas had an outstanding game on both sides of the ball, winning possession, laying off often, and setting the rhythm well.
As the FCIAC quarterfinals begin Friday, very little separates the top teams. The Wreckers snagged the #3 seed, and will face #6 Fairfield Warde on Friday. Kickoff is 3 p.m. at Wakeman Field. The Westporters came from behind to win the regular season match, 2-1 at Warde, earlier this fall.
Staples finished 10-1-4 — just 2 points behind #1 Greenwich (11-1-3), and one point behind #2 Norwalk (11-2-2). They play Brien McMahon and Danbury, respectively. The fourth contest pits #4 Darien against #5 Ridgefield. FINAL SCORE: Staples 3, Fairfield Ludlowe 0. FINAL SEASON RECORD: 10-1-4.
QUICK KICKS: Staples’ 10 regular season wins is the most since 2011 (also 10). The last time they lost just once in the regular season was 2008….
The reserves ended their season with a fine 12-2-0 record. They shut out Fairfield Ludlowe 1-0 on a Kyle Stretton goal. Keeper Steve Divino clinched the win with a literal last-second save ….
The freshmen avenged a previous 4-0 loss to Greenwich with a 1-0 win. Colin Stretton scored the lone goal.