For 7 years, Staples has been honored to participate in Wethersfield’s annual jamboree honoring Eagle and Wrecker players lost on 9/11. The 4-team event is always special: a great cause, solid soccer, 1 final preparation before the FCIAC season begins, and wonderful food at the end.
Staples has sometimes played well at Wethersfield; sometimes not. Today they turned in 3 strong performances. They got better game by game — and they did it without 5 starters (2 injuries; 3 taking ACT tests). A 6th starter sat out the final 2 matches, after a shoulder injury.
The 1st 30-minute match saw Staples and Kingswood-Oxford draw 0-0. The Westporters could not capitalize on 10 corner kicks, while keeper Michael McCarthy contributed a superb save against the run of play.
The Wreckers then edged host Wethersfield 1-0. The goal came with just 1:11 to play. Luke Yeager flicked on Mikey Scott’s long free kick; Greg Gudis was there to knock it in. The match was crisply played on the Cottone Field turf.
The final game was a 3-0 win over Enrico Fermi High School-Enfield. Freshman keeper James Hickok’s outlet to Brendan Lesch unleashed a coast-to-coast run, capped off with a strong strike. Justin Hawrysh nailed the next 2 goals — 1 off a Scott throw, the other unassisted.
“We always appreciate Wethersfield’s great hospitality,” said head coach Dan Woog. “This is one of our annual pre-season highlights. Now we turn our attention to Westhill” (Tuesday, 4 p.m., Loeffler Field).
“We’ve had a good few days of training,” he added. “Today we took a couple of steps forward. But all that means nothing. Every team is now 0-0-0. It’s up to us to start changing that on Tuesday.”