Published on October 24th, 2019 | by Staples Soccer0
Match Report: Staples vs. New Canaan
Two years ago, Staples was the first team ever to play on New Canaan’s new Water Tower Turf field. The Rams had never even practiced on it.
Late goals gave the Wreckers a 2-0 victory, and a spot in the FCIAC playoffs.
Today, Staples returned to that field. New Canaan never uses it for soccer; they play on the Dunning Stadium turf, and grass Conner Field. But weather conditions made the latter unusable, while the former was booked for freshman football.
Once again, a post-season spot was on the line.
With a new coach, the Rams play more of a control game than they have for many years. They try to work the ball out of the back. But pressing is Staples’ forte.
They did it adequately in the first half. In the 11th minute, a lightning quick give-and-go between Patricio Perez Elorza and Murilo Moreno sprung Perez Elorza for a very pretty goal.
But the visitors let their hosts back in the game. Three minutes later, it was level, after a defensive giveaway.
Perez Elorza, George Smith, Emerson Anvari and Josh DeDomenico all had good chances, with Sam Liles serving effective crosses from the right corner. Still, Staples went into halftime tied.
They played with far more urgency — and control, and soccer brains — after the break. Alan Fiore owned the left side, racing down the line to open up that side.
In the 48th minute, Perez Elorza took a corner kick. Anvari redirected it off the crossbar. The ball bounced down inches from the goal. Benny Feuer — the outside back, who gets better every game — was right there, to body it in.
One minute later, Fiore stole the ball near the sideline. He weaved through a gauntlet of defenders, took a couple of quick touches, then finished strongly. It was an outstanding solo effort.
With center backs Surya Balaji and Brendan Lynch controlling the middle, and keeping a high line, New Canaan had few chances. Carter Bassler returned from illness to provide strength and speed on the left side.
The win — coupled with Fairfield Ludlowe’s 1-1 draw with Norwalk this afternoon — appears to clinch an FCIAC playoff spot for Staples. It’s the Wreckers’ 12th consecutive appearance in the tournament. They’ll shoot for their 28th conference crown — but first since 2010.
The final regular season match is Monday, 4 p.m. at home against Wilton. The Warriors’ undefeated season came to an end today. Stamford scored in the final 3 minutes, to pull out a 3-2 win. Wilton — now 8-1-5 — faces Greenwich tomorrow, before coming to Westport for the regular season finale.
Welcome to the FCIAC. Anything can happen. And it usually does. FINAL SCORE: Staples 3, New Canaan 1. SEASON RECORD: 8-4-3.
QUICK KICKS: The reserves also downed New Canaan 3-1. It was 1-0 at the half, after Will Adams’ great through ball set up Reese Watkins for an easy finish. In the second half Matt Jordan stepped in to score a rocket upper right, from more than 30 yards out. A corner kick cut the margin in half, but Gabe Chinitz knocked in a left-footed shot, off a defensive error forced by Matt Genser and Jaden Mueller. Kyle Rotolo and Tim Liakh turned in solid performances in the back for Russell Oost-Lievense and Reilly Lynch’s side. The reserves are now 11-1-2….
Two 2nd-half goals gave the freshmen a 2-0 shutout over New Canaan. Scott Kosokowski scored the first with a very persistent effort on a ball that bounced off the keeper. Alex Laskin notched the 2nd after a great overlapping run, something he is very fond of. Campbell Gerrard had a strong game at defense and central midfield, while Kyle Stretton played well on the wing. Eion Cuddy also held strong in back. Coach Chris O’Dell’s squad is 9-1-1.