Published on October 27th, 2014 | by Staples Soccer0
Staples vs. Greenwich: FCIAC Semifinals (Game Report)
Two days after a thrilling win over Danbury in the FCIAC semifinals, the Wreckers were back in action. Significantly, it was 12 days after another thrilling victory: This one 2-0 over Greenwich, in the regular season.
The #3 Cards — 4-1 winners over Westhill in their quarterfinal — were bent on revenge. The #7 Westporters were out to show that that win — and their previous string of 6 victories in 7 matches over just 11 days — was a true picture of who they are.
The high-intensity match took just 3 minutes to produce its 1st goal. Patrick Beusse laced a ball down the right side. The Cards hoofed it out of bounds. Gabe Pensak’s long throw bounced around the box. In the chaos a Card knocked it in, for an own goal.
It took just another 3 minutes for Greenwich to equalize. They pressured the defense, won a ball, and got a finish from Alejandro MacLean.
Midway through the period, Pensak’s throw produced another score. Nate Argosh flicked on to the back post, where Josh Berman headed home.
The Wreckers had spent plenty of time in training on set pieces — both attacking and defending. But the Cards’ Nick Bartels knotted the score once again, 7 minutes later, off a corner — one that many Staples fans thought should have been a goal kick,
Keeper Noah Schwaeber’s excellent save with 3 minutes before halftime kept the scoreline even.
The action heated up even more in the 2nd half. Schwaeber’s save in the 55th minute was key. But Greenwich — physical, as always, with a game plan that involved banging balls forward and running on — took the play to the Wreckers.
With 24 minutes to play, Bartels notched his 2nd goal. After coming back twice, the Cards now led.
Staples tried to push forward. But the Greenwich defense held fast, not giving anyone much room to move. A 3rd attacker came on, but still the Wreckers could not solve their backs.
Schwaeber came through twice more, including a spectacular save on a low shot that could have iced the match.
A late flurry of Staples shots was turned away by the Cards. And so — after a brutal rush of matches since mid-October — the Wreckers now have a full week off. The state “LL” (extra large schools) tournament begins next Monday.
“This one will hurt for a while,” head coach Dan Woog said. “There’s no doubt about it. Our guys are crushed. They set a goal, and came very far very fast to try to reach it. They’ll feel it tomorrow. But over the next few days, that feeling will fade. They’ll focus on our 3rd — and final — season. They’ll pick up their heads. They’ll look their teammates in the eyes. And when the whistle blows next Monday, they’ll be ready.” FINAL SCORE: Greenwich 3, Staples 2. SEASON RECORD: 10-6-2….
QUICK KICKS: The match was Staples’ 8th in 14 days — perhaps the most ever for a Wrecker team…
Greenwich led in shots, 10-6. Both teams had 4 corner kicks….
Mikey Fitzgerald — the defender/heading star of the 2009 state championship team — was at the game.