Published on October 6th, 2015 | by Staples Soccer


Staples vs. Norwalk – Match Report

Norwalk — always one of the best (and best-coached) teams in the FCIAC — started slowly this year, dropping 4 games after an opening-day win.

But the Bears have been playing very good soccer of late. They beat New Canaan 2-0, fell to Greenwich only 1-0, then tied Trumbull 1-1.

Of course, when the neighboring towns meet, anything can happen.

Last year’s match was decided in the final minutes, after a very suspect “pass back to the keeper” call gave Norwalk a free kick dead on, just outside the box.

This year, Staples started out very strongly. And the 1st goal of the game came off a pass to the keeper.

This time it was the Bears going back. Spencer Daniels pounced as the ball was played backward. Keeper Tyler Dalton was in poor position to play it with his foot. The junior blocked the outlet, then followed up for an easy 12th-minute tap-in.

The Wreckers applied strong pressure for much of the half, forcing the guests into a defensive mode. Defensively, the back line of Kenji Goto, Josh Berman, Matteo Broccolo and Teddy Lawrence stepped up well, repeatedly catching their foes offside.

Daniels had a 2nd chance on another back pass in the 36th minute. But the half ended only 1-0.

Staples opened the 2nd half with an Aidan Wisher rip that was tipped over the top for a corner. But their set plays were not on today, and the 2nd goal did not come.

The Wreckers paid for a mistake — failing to push Norwalk outside — in the 53rd minute. Anthony Hernandez converted the equalizer.

The visitors came on strongly, making the 2nd half much more even. The final minute of play was particularly action-packed. Keeper Noah Schwaeber banged a ball upfield. The ball was played into the box. Daniel Brill went up for a header, got knocked down — and that was the game.

“We let this one get away,” said head coach Dan Woog. “It’s a fair result. We did not put them away, and we let them back in. It’s 1 point, not 3. And in the FCIAC, every point counts.”

Staples’ next shot at 3 points is Thursday. They entertain Darien at 4 p.m. The last time the 2 teams met — in November — the Blue Wave won 2-0. It was — as every Stapleite remembers — the quarterfinal round of the state tournament. FINAL SCORE: Staples 1, Norwalk 1. SEASON RECORD: 6-1-2.

QUICK KICKS: Jack Zeldes made his 1st appearance since receiving 25 stitches above his eye during the Ridgefield match….

Staples outshot Norwalk 11-3, and led in corner kicks 3-1….

The reserves battled back 3 times from deficits, earning a tough 4-3 win against Norwalk. Danny Jersey rebounded in his own shot; Rory Steele’s free kick deflected in off the keeper; Vaughan Picirillo-Sealey ran on to finish strongly, then Kason Kreis netted the game-winner on a hard-charging play. Jake Didner played well in what coach Nicky Hoberman termed “a great team effort.”…

The freshmen won 4-2 at Norwalk’s Nathan Hale School. Azam Plummer chipped the keeper, then ran on and knocked his own ball into an empty net. Brad Cox got the next 2, both off excellent crosses from Ollie Lindenbaum. Nick DiMasi slammed in the insurance tally. Josh Zhang was “a force” at sweeper for coach Chris O’Dell, while keeper Ry Cohen made nice saves and Cox distributed well.

Intense action in the final seconds of the Norwalk match. Keeper Tyler Dalton punches out — as Daniel Brill tries to score. (Photo/MaryGrace Gudis)

Kenji Goto gives Norwalk no room to breathe. (Photo/Armelle Daniels)


Jack Zeldes returned to action against Norwalk, after an eye injury. Daniel Reid supports. (Photo/Armelle Daniels)


Aidan Wisher turns the corner against Norwalk. (Photo/Armelle Daniels)


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