Published on October 10th, 2018 | by Staples Soccer0
Match Report: Staples vs. Ridgefield
Today’s game marked the 3/4 point of the regular season. Around this time, FCIAC teams do one of two things. They play “scoreboard,” praying that other results will break their way, so they can qualify for the league and/or state tournaments.
Or they go out and make things happen, so other teams will have to chase them — in the standings and on the field.
After a fall filled with bad weather, today was unseasonably hot. Loeffler Field was still a bit soft, after too much rain.
But Staples started out strongly against Ridgefield. Just 3 minutes in, Mauricio Inglada — making his 2nd start of the season — played a nice ball to Vaughan Sealey. It was an easy tap in and a seemingly simple 1-0 lead.
But the Wreckers took their foot off the gas. They did not go for the kill. And in the 20th minute, the visitors drew level. Owen Cherner got the goal, off a keeper rebound.
Except for the first 3 minutes, it was a dismal, poorly played half for Staples.
They knew it. And after halftime, they came out looking like a new squad.
They won balls at midfield. They found open men. They went forward with speed. They attacked the flanks.
Seven minutes after intermission, Nick DiMasi found Matthew Tanzer. The midfielder ripped a shot, and Inglada was there with the alert follow-up.
Nine minutes after that, Lefty Penderakis drove into the box. He drew a crew of defenders, then laid off to DiMasi for the blast.
Two minutes later, keeper Ry Cohen kept the Westporters up by 2 with his best save of the day. That inspired his side to play even tougher ball.
Just 2:32 from time, Patricio Perez Elorza laid off to Penderakis, for the final tally.
Inglada, Sealey and Perez Elorza sparked the Wreckers in the 2nd half. But the win was a team effort, as coach Dan Woog noted at the end.
Looking ahead to Saturday’s Staples soccer 60th anniversary celebration (tailgate 1 p.m., match vs. Darien at 2 p.m.), he said: “There will be over 100 alumni on the Hill. They’ll be there to watch great Staples soccer. They want to see if this year’s team measures up. They know the tradition: excellent defense, solid teamwork, playing the ball on the ground, controlling the tempo, being smart, finding a way to win.”
This year’s team, Woog said, is fully capable of that. Still, they haven’t shown they can do it in every half, or every game. Saturday, he added, “is the best test of the year for this team. If they play like they did in the 2nd half today — for a full 80 minutes — they’ll prove a lot. To themselves, and everyone else.” FINAL SCORE: Staples 4, Ridgefield 1. SEASON RECORD: 7-2-3.
QUICK KICKS: Saturday’s 60th anniversary celebration actually kicks off Friday. All alumni and friends are invited to the Horseshoe bar in Southport, for an informal get-together starting at 7 p.m. Saturday’s tailgate at 1 p.m. in the Loeffler Field parking lot will feature the Staples Barbecue Club. After the 2 p.m. match, alumni and their kids are invited to play a classic pick-up game. A 7 p.m. alumni party winds up the weekend….
Like the varsity, the reserves took a quick 1-0 lead on Ridgefield. A quick slip from Graham Barnes allowed Alan Fiore to play Haydn Siroka through for a 1-v-1 on the keeper. The Tigers capitalized on a defensive breakdown early in the 2nd half to equalize. But in the best buildup of the season, Fiore played Siroka to the corner. He beat one man, then found Carter Bassler cutting in for a beautiful volley. Bassler sealed the deal when his pressure forced a turnover in the 18, with a slip back that Siroka tucked away for a 3-1 win. Coaches Russell Oost-Lievense and Reilly Lynch got standout performances from Siroka and Bassler, with solid technical play from Eli Kogan and Haran Eiger off the bench. The reserves are now 7-1-2….
The freshmen topped Ridgefield 5-1. Matt Jordan scored twice; Aidan Mermagen, Jackson Hochhauser and Gabe Chinitz had solo strikes. Spencer Levine and Hochhauser laid off expertly, while Brewster Galley and Ryan Thomas were excellent on defense. Coach Chris O’Dell’s frosh are 8-0-1 on the season.