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Published on September 17th, 2015 | by Staples Soccer


Staples vs. Ridgefield: Match Report

Last year, at Tiger Hollow in the 5th game of the season, Jack Zeldes collided with a Ridgefield player. The Wrecker’s concussion sidelined him for much of the year — but helped spark a legendary comeback win. Staples rallied from a 3-0 deficit, for a 4-3 victory.

This year the 2 sides met in the 2nd game of the season — again at the Tigers’ home. It’s been a very good place for the Wreckers to play, including the 4-0 state championship match in 2009.

Staples wanted to get back on track, following a bad 1-0 loss at Trumbull on opening day. Zeldes was back for the 1st time, following a pre-season ankle sprain. Also in the lineup for the 1st time: Graham Gudis (shin splints).

Zeldes helped make the midfield go — and then, in the 8th minute, he challenged a defender for a high ball. The 2 collided — and once again Zeldes went down.

This time he had no concussion. But he bled fiercely. Ridgefield’s trainer held him out for the rest of the match, then sent him for stitches afterward. He is out for 3 weeks.

The visitors battled a fierce sun. They played intelligently, however, with Kenji Goto and Josh Berman commanding the back, and kept the ball upfield for much of the 1st 10 minutes.

In the 11th minute, Aidan Wisher earned a corner kick. Gudis delivered a great ball. Berman leaped high and — reprising his role from last season — headed home.

Ridgefield came back, testing keeper Ziggy Hallgarten twice. Staples had the better of play, with a couple of fierce Goto tackles delivering strong messages.

In the 32nd minute Daniel Reid — who ran the show at midfield — hit Daniel Brill. He fed Daniel Perez Elorza, who launched a 40-yard shot. It zoomed in on goal like a missile, finally nestling in the back corner for a 2-0 lead. This was the 1st time all 3 Daniels on Staples combined for a goal.

The Tigers threatened several times in the 2nd half. Hallgarten halted their threats, with good positioning and assertiveness.

In the 74th minute Sam Kantor took a pass, then used a deft futsal turn to find Perez Elorza. The senior calmly finished: 3-0.

Ridgefield got one back a minute later. But defenders Goto, Berman, Matteo Broccolo and Teddy Lawrence (for Christ Martenson) hung tough. Staples managed the game — and left Tiger Hollow happy. FINAL SCORE: Staples 3, Ridgefield 1. SEASON RECORD: 1-1-0.

QUICK KICKS: Head coach Dan Woog applauded his squad for their ability to bounce back after Trumbull. “I can’t believe what bad luck Jack (Zeldes) has had,” he added. “No one competes harder. It will be great to have him back — he’s one of our real senior leaders.”

The reserves fell 4-2 to Ridgefield. Rory Steele scored twice….

The freshmen scored 15 minutes into their Ridgefield match — a 3-0 win. Tom Messenger’s throw bounced once into the box, where Brad Cox side-volleyed it home. The 2nd goal was also Cox’s — from a great give-and-go — while the 3rd was a Cox penalty kick. Josh Zhang and Chet Ellis had strong games at midfield.  Ry Cohen played very well in goal, consistently making great decisions on positioning. Coach Chris O’Dell also cited Jake Porter, Josh Buckman and Gabriel Baltierra for their solid defense.

Tyler Wright and Graham Gudis double-team a Ridgefield Tiger. (Photo/MaryGrace Gudis)


Josh Berman heads in the 1st tally at Ridgefield. Daniel Perez Elorza frames the goal. (Photo/MaryGrace Gudis)


Jack Zeldes, the day after Ridgefield.



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