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Published on September 8th, 2022 | by Staples Soccer


Match Report vs. Ridgefield: Wreckers Open Russell Era With Win

As Russell Oost-Lievense prepared for his first match as head coach — only the 4th in Staples soccer’s 64-year history — he knew he would have a young team.

He did not expect an illness 12 hours before game time, and 2 injuries just prior to kickoff, to force last-minute lineup changes.

But his squad — with 3 seniors, 4 juniors and 4 sophomores taking the field at Ridgefield’s Tiger Hollow for the opening kickoff — came through.

The hosts controlled much of the first 30 minutes. Like many Tiger teams, they relied on long balls and an offsides trap. Staples’ junior keeper Nick Sikorski was tested once, on a deflection. His back line of seniors Hunter Smith, Ben Douglas and Cole Lieberman, plus sophomore Alex Kuster, halted any real threats.

The Wreckers, meanwhile, poked for holes and looked for seams. But they too came up empty.

The second half was vastly different. Just 3 minutes in, Matt Shackelford sent Avery Mueller through. His banger off the goalpost was the first real threat for either side.

The backs and Sikorski communicated well, catching the Tigers offside 3 times in the first 14 minutes.

In the 61st minute, Mueller — who started on the left side — laced a cross into the box from the right. Junior midfielder Dylan Hoke rose high above the defenders, power-heading it in for a crucial first goal.

With Lieberman and Douglas directing Staples’ defense, and sophomore Cormac Mulvey now in on the flank — pushing Smith forward — Staples continued to control possession.

Sikorski saved big on a breakaway in the 73rd minutes; one minute later, Mueller was stopped on the other end.

A crisp passing sequence with sophomore Zach Gorin and junior Lucas Carpi ended with an authoritative finish from Mueller. That iced the match — and an important first win for this young, exciting ’22 team. FINAL SCORE: Staples 2, Ridgefield 0. SEASON RECORD: 1-0-0.

QUICK KICKS: Today’s starting lineup included Sikorski in goal; Douglas, Smith, Lieberman and Kuster in back; Hoke, Mueller and Alex Laskin at midfield, and Carpi, Gorin and Jonny Costello in front of them ….

The next match is Saturday, 10 a.m. at Loeffler Field against New Canaan. The Wreckers would like to “fill the Hill” — and there’s a bake sale too ….

The first Staples match ever coached by the program’s founder, Albie Loeffler, was a 3-2 loss to Andrew Warde. Jeff Lea’s first game in 1978 was a 2-0 win over Greenwich. Dan Woog’s first match in 2003 was a 2-0 victory at Brien McMahon. So in every first game of all 4 Wrecker head coaches, their teams scored exactly 2 goals …

Avery Mueller’s older brother Jaden — a standout on last year’s varsity — was one of only 2 freshmen to make the Providence College club team ….

Coach Stelios Selferidis’ reserves fell 1-0 to Ridgefield, on a last-minute penalty kick …,

The freshmen of coach Elisee Joseph shut out Ridgefield 4-0. Finnbar Mulcahy scored twice; Owen Perry and Gabe Duque had one each. Drew Hill had an excellent match.

Avery Mueller (center) celebrates his goal at Ridgefield with (from left) Lucas Carpi, Dylan Hoke and Sam Rossoni. Zach Gorin (19) will join soon. (Photo/Mark Sikorski)


Cole Lieberman added experience, strength and skill in his Staples debut. (Photo/Mark Sikorski)


Nick Sikorski looked sure-handed in his shutout. (Photo/Mark Sikorski)




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