Published on September 21st, 2013 | by Staples Soccer


Staples vs. St. Joseph — Game Report

The story line before today’s match at St. Joseph was intriguing.

The Wreckers were missing 4 starters: co-captain Jack Scott (concussion), Gabe Pensak (concussion), Yousef Shahin (ill) and Foster Goldberg (knee). They faced one of the best Cadet sides in years, on St. Joe’s narrow but nice turf field.

Sophomore Kenji Goto got the call at left back. Though he played not a minute of varsity before starting today, the coaches liked his tenacity and instincts. Junior Nate Argosh got his 1st varsity start too, up top.

The 1st half saw Staples facing a considerable wind. The match was a bit helter-skelter, though midfielders Diego Alanis and Michael Reid worked hard to keep the ball on the carpet. Defenders Goto, Andrew Puchala, George Kokkalis and Connor Weiler won nearly every high ball the Cadets banged forward, while Noah Schwaeber patrolled his goalmouth with confidence.

Steven Sobel’s long throws opened up some offense for the Wreckers, but the 1st half ended scoreless. At intermission, the blue-and-whites stressed the importance of crashing the box. In a gritty game like today’s, that could make the difference.

Patrick Beusse and Joe Pravder opened the 2nd half with a nifty give-and-go. A Sobel throw led to a Puchala header goal — but it was negated by a foul in the box.

Staples kept pressing forward, and in the 50th minute a wild sequence showed exactly what “crashing the box” means.

Sobel’s throw was headed forward by Reid. Charlie Leonard swung; the ball hit the post. Kokkalis’ left-footed shot hit the other post; once again the ball caromed across the goal. The ball hit a defender, a couple of other body parts on both teams, and finally — nearly on the line — Puchala smacked it in. It was a team goal, with 2 defenders playing key roles.

Just 1:10 later, it was 2-0. Sobel started things again, this time with a long cross. He aimed for Alanis, but a defender got there first. He misheaded it backwards, high over the head of the keeper who was playing for a cross.

Four minutes later Weiler delivered a neat diagonal ball, as the Westporters pressed the attack.But with 22:30 to go the Cadets halved the deficit. They sped down their right side, got numbers forward, and Matthew Reis fired at a sharp angle.

The Wreckers tried to manage the game. They had their moments — but so did the hosts. Schwaeber made 2 key saves — one in the 63rd minute, the 2nd a huge punch 10 minutes later. Those (along with fancy footwork by Andreas Bru) sealed the victory.

“We knew we would have to gut it out,” said head coach Dan Woog. “That’s always the case here — particularly today. But that’s exactly what we did. Today’s 3 points are huge. Now we’re looking for 3 more on Monday.” Up next: Central, at home (4 p.m.). FINAL SCORE:  Staples 2, St. Joseph 1. SEASON RECORD:  3-1-1.

QUICK KICKS:  Besides Goto, James Lewis earned his 1st varsity minutes….

Goto’s start brought to mind Nicky Hoberman in 2005. The junior played his 1st varsity game against Greenwich — as a starter. He won the spot, and never relinquished it…

Staples outshot St. Joseph 15-8, and out-corner kicked them 4-2….

The junior varsity shut out St. Joseph 6-0. Daniel Perez Elorza scored, with an assist from Andres Marmelo. Jack Zeldes knocked in a rebound, then headed in a Perez Elorza corner kick. Andrew Osorio tallied, from Denzel Robinson. Ethan Kobak converted a penalty kick. Robinson finished the scoring, assisted by Jared Vishno. Ziggy Hallgarten and Brenden Price combined for the goose egg. Perez Elorza, Price and James Lewis were loaners from the varsity, to keep their match sharpness.

Andrew Puchala finishes — after 2 shots hit the post — for goal number 1. (Photo/Kim Lake)

In the final minutes, St. Joe’s threatens. Steven Sobel heads out of danger, as George Kokkalis and Andrew Puchala lend support. (Photo/Kim Lake)

In his varsity debut, James Lewis gets air. George Kokkalis is impressed. (Photo/Kim Lake)


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