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Published on September 23rd, 2013 | by Staples Soccer


Staples vs. Central — Game Report

Just 48 hours after a gritty win at St. Joseph, the Wreckers returned to action. The scene was friendly Loeffler Field. A strong wind blew from the north — favoring Staples — but they entered the match vowing to keep the ball on the grass. They wanted to play more to feet than in previous games. From the outset, they did.

Despite starting without 4 regulars, they passed well. The hosts pressed forward on the attack, with right back Connor Weiler pushing up early and often. Charlie Leonard and Joe Pravder provided plenty of pressure up top, while Diego Alanis and Michael Reid handled their distribution chores well. Steve Sobel and Patrick Beusse provided width.

Noah Schwaeber saved nicely twice, and outletted nicely. Yet despite the Wreckers’ territorial and time domination, the half ended scoreless.

It also ended with Weiler on the bench. The hard-running, tough-tackling, ever -energetic defender — a vocal leader on and off the field — injured his hamstrung, and did not return. It was a blow to the blue-and-whites, but Sobel slid back and filled in strongly.

Yousef Shahin came on at left midfield, providing soccer savvy and a skillful touch. Andreas Bru, Nate Argosh, Daniel Perez Elorza and Graham Gudis also cycled in.

Staples’ persistence paid off in the 59th minute. Leonard — a pest all day — earned a corner kick. Shahin skipped it across the goalmouth, seemingly so close to the end line it would be cleared. But it wasn’t — and as he has been so often the past 2 years, Andrew Puchala was there to punch it in.

The Hilltoppers came right back on the attack. Puchala and George Kokkalis locked down the midfield, holding their line and winning most balls through smart positioning, good timing and powerful headers. Sobel and Kenji Goto supported them well on the sides, keeping Central at bay.

Staples’ best chance to pad their lead came in the 63rd minute. Beusse forced a back pass, which the Hilltopper keeper handled. The resulting indirect kick — just a few yards from the goalmouth — missed high by inches.

Schwaeber’s stellar play continued in the 2nd half. He made several key saves on difficult balls in traffic, both high and low, sealing the shutout.

“That’s 2 games in a row we’ve gutted it out,” said head coach Dan Woog. “Our guys are realizing it doesn’t matter when you score, or who scores, or how — but they understand that if they keep playing to feet, and keep pressing, they’ll create one. And they’re taking pride in doing it with a bit of a patchwork lineup.” FINAL SCORE: Staples 1, Central 0. SEASON RECORD: 4-1-1.

QUICK KICKS:  Staples outshot Central 10-8, and led in corner kicks 5-2….

Seth Sholes’ junior varsity shut out Central 6-0. Aidan Wisher nailed a penalty kick; John Fincher scored twice (from distance, then through traffic); Maycol Hernandez tallied on a long shot; Grant Sirlin got a goal off a deflection, and Andrew Osorio hit from the top of the box. Jack Zeldes and Carl Amacker shone defensively, while Reese Chang and Ben Foster looked strong at midfield….

The freshmen played Central for the 1st time ever, and won 4-0. Sam Kantor netted a penalty kick; Josh Berman got two, both off corner kicks, and Eric D’Addario finished the scoring.

Joe Pravder works the sideline against Central. Diego Alanis lends suupport. (Photo/Kim Lake)

Charlie Leonard pushes forward. His work rate up top continues to impress. (Photo/Kim Lake)






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