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Published on October 15th, 2014 | by Staples Soccer


Staples vs. Greenwich (Game Report)

It’s been a frustrating season for Staples soccer — players and fans. The Wreckers have tied games they could have won, and lost games they could have tied. They’ve missed their center back and tri-captain, Andrew Puchala, out since early in the season with a stress fracture..On Monday the Westporters beat winless Trinity Catholic 2-0. Greenwich, meanwhile, came from behind to hand Norwalk their 1st loss of the season, 2-1.

The Cards arrived at Loeffler Field with a 9-2-1 record, good for 3rd place in the FCIAC. The Wreckers were 5-4-2, tied for 9th — one spot away from the post-season playoffs.

But Staples was also coming off an inspired training session. And — though he did not start — Puchala was ready to return.

The Wreckers knew what they had to do. Who they had to stop. How they had to organize. Where they needed to set up.

From the start, they took matters into their own hands. Gabe Pensak, Kenji Goto, Grant Sirlin, Jack Zeldes and Josh Berman handled the defense. Patrick Beusse roamed far and wide on one flank. Graham Gudis served balls from the other.

Michael Reid patrolled the midfield, switching fields with abandon. And up front, Nate Argosh and Daniel Perez Elorza worked like hell.

Ziggy Hallgarten looked forceful in goal, and with a couple of key saves kept the scoreline clean. His counterpart at the other end did the same, looking especially strong on a Gudis free kick.

In the 26th minute Perez pestered the Cards in the box, and earned a free kick on the far left side. Staples took it like a corner. He laced it into the box, and his fellow attacker Argosh was there to touch it in.

The score was well deserved. Staples had come close on a couple of other chances — off corners, free kicks, throws and a strike by Argosh — but had not connected.

Three minutes later, Beusse’s great ball was tipped over for an excellent save.

At halftime, the Wreckers talked about weathering a storm in the first 10 minutes when play resumed. They did that — and more.

The already inspired side got a lift with 20 minutes to play, when Puchala came on. He immediately made his presence known — and in the 73rd minute, won a strong tackle on the right side near midfield. He hit Daniel Brill, who fed a textbook slot to Perez Elorza. The junior beat the keeper, for the insurance goal.

With strong performances off the bench from Brill, Denzel Robinson, Matt Bateman, Aidan Wisher, Spencer Daniels, Daniel Reid, Sebastian Wick and Jerrett Rende, head coach Dan Woog termed the win “a true team effort.” He also cited assistant coach Kurt Dasbach and keeper coach Tom Henske for their “superb” preparation of the squad.

But, Woog warned, today’s win is “just one more building block.” The Wreckers have 24 hours to prepare for Brien McMahon. That game — 7 p.m. tomorrow, at Jack Casagrande Field — will be followed 2 days later by Trumbull.

“There’s no rest for the weary,” Woog said. Of course, he noted, “right now are guys are also pretty pumped.” FINAL SCORE: Staples 2, Greenwich 0. SEASON RECORD: 6-4-2.

QUICK KICKS: The annual Quiz Night extravaganza is this Friday, 7 p.m. in the Staples cafeteria. It’s tons of fun, with raffles too (and a silent auction). All are welcome….

Staples outshot Greenwich 8-6, and led in corner kicks 5-4….

Rob Sweetnam — keeper on the state champion 1982 team — was at the match, and congratulated the team after the win. He’s now a golf pro at Pinehurst in North Carolina….

The Barbecue Club was also at the game, feeding fans….

The junior varsity beat Greenwich 2-1. Matteo Broccolo curled a shot from 25 yards that “looked like a highlight reel,” said coach Seth Sholes. Ten minutes later Rees Chang moved up from his back position, and volleyed home a 35-yarder. Then the defense of Chang, Danny Jersey, Greg Preiser, Max Hammer and Shane Fries held well. Teddy Lawrence, Griff O’Neill and Kenny Brill gave everything at midfield, Rory Steele was an excellent target man, and Thomas Heisler had another strong game in goal….

The freshmen dominated the first half at Greenwich, but fell 2-0. Anton Mahr had another strong match, and Will Birch distributed well.

Hey, can they do that to Jack Zeldes? (Photo/Kim Lake)


Ziggy Hallgarten, with one of several key saves against Greenwich. (Photo/Kim Lake)


Andrew Puchala (3rd from left) returns to action, and talks to (from left) Ziggy Hallgarten, Jack Zeldes, Nate Argosh, Josh Berman, Kenji Goto, Michael Reid and Daniel Perez Elorza. (Photo/Kim Lake)


Daniel Perez Elorza celebrates after his goal against Greenwich. Equally joyful are (from left) Josh Berman, Daniel Brill and Nate Argosh. (Photo/Kim Lake)




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