Published on October 22nd, 2019 | by Staples Soccer0
Match Report: Staples vs. Westhill
Saturday’s win over St. Joseph put Staples back on the winning track. But despite leading in shots 25-0 and corner kicks 10-1, the score was just 1-0.
The Wreckers were looking for a more decisive victory today, against a stronger Westhill opponent.
They got it.
The Westporters started hot on the Vikings’ tight field. They pressed. They spread the field. They attacked the flanks. They worked hard on both sides of the ball. They played the possession, quick-passing soccer they always strive for, but don’t always attain.
Patricio Perez Elorza led the charge, as midfield general. He was aided by Murilo Moreno, the quick-footed sophomore. Both operate well in tight spaces, but knew when to spring teammates forward, and when to lay off if there was nowhere to go.
Alan Fiore and Sam Liles showed speed on the flanks. They stayed wide, took defenders on, and laced sharp crosses into the box.
The back 4 saw the always-reliable Surya Balaji keeping a high line, forcing numerous Westhill offsides. Brendan Lynch was his usual steady presence beside the co-captain. Benny Feuer — who has improved game after game — created numerous chances with well-timed balls into corners and cross field.
Sophomore Ryan Thomas earned his first-ever varsity start, and was a steady, forceful presence.
Up top, Emerson Anvari held on often, but flicked forward when necessary. Lars Djuve pressed forward. When George Smith and Haydn Siroka came on, there was no letup.
The Wreckers got on the board in the 29th minute. Anvari found Liles in the corner. He fed Perez Elorza, who was taken down in the box. He calmly converted the penalty kick.
Six minutes later, keeper Reed Caney saved a dangerous long shot, punching over the top at the last second.
A confident Staples team kept pushing forward after the break. Fiore’s pressure won him the ball. He beat his defender and went 1-on-1 with keeper David Builes. He made a good save, but could not hold on. Anvari pounced on the rebound, finishing alertly just as he’d trained.
Caney had 2 more fine saves, on the Vikings’ 2 best chances. But with Josh DeDomenico, Jack Foster and Aidan Mermagen coming on in relief, Staples rode out the win.
Two games remain in the regular season. The Wreckers are in 6th place in the battle for one of 8 FCIAC playoff spots. They look to snag 3 important points on Thursday. The match at New Canaan’s Conner Field, near Saxe Middle School, kicks off at 4 p.m. FINAL SCORE: Staples 2, Westhill 0. SEASON RECORD: 7-4-3.
QUICK KICKS: The reserves also shut out Westhill 2-0. Zach Pulichino and Konur Nordberg scored …
Three minutes into the freshman match, Matt Shackelford got tripped by the keeper in the box on what looked like a sure goal. Josh Deitch stepped up and slotted in the PK. Twelve minutes later, Shackelford scored on a breakaway. With one minute left in the half, Kyle Stretton knocked in a rebound for a 3-0 lead. The Vikings came out fired up after intermission, and and set up their blazingly fast striker for 2 goals. But Staples dug deep, and held on for a 3-2 win. Cedric Geijerstam played his best game of year at center midfield directing the play, while Hunter Smith had a strong game defensively against Westhill’s dangerous striker.