Published on November 6th, 2009 | by Staples Soccer3
State Tournament Pairings Set; Staples 5th, Draws Conard
The state tournament pairings were announced today. The Wreckers open Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) “LL” (extra large schools) play this Tuesday, Nov. 10, at home against Conard-West Hartford. Game time is 2 p.m.
Staples and 2 other schools were tied for the 4th best LL regular season record (14-2-0). Lots were drawn; Amity is 4th, Staples 5th, New Milford 6th.
Glastonbury (15-0-1) is 1st, followed by Guilford and Naugatuck (14-1-1; also by lot).
Conard is a familiar name to Staples soccer fans — but only those with long memories. The Wreckers and upstaters have met 4 times in state tournament play. Staples holds a 3-0-1 edge in the series, with every win decided by only 1 goal.
In 1961 the Westporters won 1-0, in the state semifinals.
After a 9-year hiatus, the Wreckers and Chieftains met again — and did so for 3 straight years. Those 3 games were all state finals.
In 1970 the teams battled to a 0-0 draw, and were declared co-champions. Staples finished the year 16-1-1, surrendering only 2 goals all season (to Nyack, N.Y. — a 2-1 loss).
In 1971 the Westporters capped a 13-2-1 season with a 1-0 state final victory over Conard. Junior Jeff Williamson got the game-winner — a hard shot that caromed off a defender — with just 4 minutes left to play.
In 1972, Dennis Murphy scored a mere 30 seconds after the opening whistle. It was the sole goal of the game. The Wreckers’ 1-0 win gave them a final record of 18-0-1 — and a 4th straight state championship.
Other FCIAC schools in the 2009 LL tournament are Central (#10), Greenwich (#11), Ridgefield (#12), Trumbull (#15), Norwalk (#22), Stamford (#27), Danbury (#29) and Westhill (#33). Westhill must play on Saturday to reach the round of 32 (34 teams qualified with at least a .400 winning percentage). An intriguing 1st-round matchup pits Greenwich against Norwalk.
In the “L” (large schools) division, Fairfield Ludlowe is 16th, followed by Fairfield Warde (21), New Canaan (23), Wilton (26) and — making their 1st state tournament appearance ever — Bassick (27). The FCIAC’s lone “M” (medium schools) representative is St. Joseph (#28).
Click here for the entire CIAC “LL” draw.