Published on October 17th, 2022 | by Staples Soccer


Match Report: Staples vs. Norwalk

Battling for spots in both the FCIAC and state tournaments, the Wreckers needed a great game tonight.

They got it. Staples played their best, most consistent 80 minutes of the season, at Testa Field.

Unfortunately, their foes — Norwalk — played excellently too. And as they fought to keep their unbeaten (9-0-3) record alive, they proved why they’re one of the top teams in the state.

The Wreckers showed poise and grit throughout the match. They defended wisely and stalwartly, found feet with their passes and did not back down.

But the Bears are senior-laden, with many returnees from last year’s FCIAC champion squad. They’ve played together for years, and find each other cleverly and well. They have individual and team speed.

First half highlights included center back Ben Douglas snuffing a breakaway; a difficult save by keeper Nick Sikorski in a crowd, and deft 39th-minute work by Avery Mueller to earn a corner kick.

Sikorski opened the second half with another save. Seven minutes later the Westporters had 3 good chances in a goalmouth scrum. Then it was Campbell Gerrard halting a breakaway.

In the 51st minute, a Norwalk cross was deflected into the net by a Staples defender.

Undaunted, the Wreckers went back to work. But 7 minutes later Dylan Thomas slid as he shot. The ball was bobbled, and Thomas popped up to finish his own rebound.

Thomas netted an insurance goal 8 minutes from time, winning a footrace from near midfield.

The 3-0 scoreline does not show the evenness of the match. But that’s little solace for Staples, who enter the final week of the season still fighting for post-season berths.

The Wreckers face Brien McMahon (5-8-1) — which needs 2 wins to qualify for the state tourney — on Thursday, away (7 p.m.).  The regular season ends on Monday, with a 4 p.m. match at Wakeman against Fairfield Ludlowe. FINAL SCORE: Norwalk 3, Staples 0. SEASON RECORD: 6-7-1.

QUICK KICKS: Varsity assistant coach Chris Flaherty and his wife are the proud parents of their first child. Callum Lawrence was born Friday at 1:57 p.m. — just 2 hours before the Wreckers kicked off against St. Joseph. He weighs in at 7 pounds, 12 ounces. Congratulations, Chris! …

Following their 3-0-0 performance last week, the Wreckers are in contention for the Ruden Report’s Team of the Week. Click here to vote….

The reserves tied Norwalk 1-1. The first half showed excellent possession and ball movement, but few chances. A failure to clear led to an own goal. With Luca Caniato looking sharp at midfield, the team got forward more in the second half. Sebastian Rodrigues drove into box and fed freshman Josh Whitaker, who was taken down. He stepped up, and slotted his own penalty kick home….

This might have been the Wreckers’ last game at Testa Field. A 5-year construction project for a new Norwalk High begins next year. The school will be constructed in part on the site of the current stadium. Athletic facilities will be added later, where the school is now.

Midfield maestro Dylan Hoke. (Photo/Mark Sikorski)


Campbell Gerrard is a defensive force. (Photo/Mark Sikorski)


Ben Douglas heads out of danger. Fellow captain Alex Laskin supports. (Photo/Mark Sikorski)


Avery Mueller, on the move. (Photo/Mark Sikorski)


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