On a chilly, cloudy afternoon Loeffler Field resounded with chatter from the Staples boys soccer team. The Wreckers were the loudest they’ve been all year, helping each other with positioning, marking and other advice.
For the 1st 20-25 minutes, anyway. The talk tailed off a bit after that, but Staples remained focused and strong. The stakes were high, following a stunningly subpar performance — and their 1st loss of the season — less than 48 hours earlier.
Just 6 minutes in, a snazzy sequence of passes led to paydirt. Brendan Lesch dealt through the defense, then found Mikey Scott. His shot rebounded off the keeper back to Lesch. He laid off to Greg Gudis, who finished with a gorgeous touch.
With Scott and Andrew McNair having the best games of the year on the midfield flanks, and Alan Reiter manning the defensive fort at midfield, the Westporters were in solid control. But despite their good work — and attacking from Mike White up top, with runs out of the back from Mikey Fitzgerald, Sean Gallagher and Frankie Bergonzi — the halftime score remained just 1-0.
They doubled it 5 minutes past intermission. Scott’s long throw caused chaos in the box; the Rams froze, but Reiter didn’t. His low liner tore into the goal, just inside the left post.
Staples got the 3rd goal in the 67th minute. Bergonzi hit Jake Krosse; the midfielder fed Reiter, and the quad-captain netted his 2nd score of the game.
A final highlight was Jason Bennett’s 72nd-minute rope, which was denied by a great last-second save. FINAL SCORE: Staples 3, New Canaan 0. Overall record: 9-1-0. FCIAC record: 9-0-0.
QUICK KICKS: New Canaan keeper Scott Levene is an excellent freshman — so when the Wreckers countered with their own frosh, James Hickok, there were 2 9th grade goalies on the field….
The 2 remaining games this week shape up as great ones, following Wilton’s stunning 1-0 upset of Ridgefield this afternoon. Staples hosts Wilton on Wednesday (4:15 p.m.), then travel to Tiger Hollow for a 6 p.m. match Friday against the always-tough Tigers….
Victor Sanchez, the new New Canaan coach, has done a nice job organizing the Rams. He was named to the post just a couple of weeks before the season began, after Bill Whittaker relocated to Florida….
The junior varsity shut out New Canaan 5-0. Goals came from Terence Gibbons (2), Spencer Adler, Spencer Burns and Jay Kaplan….
The freshmen led 2-0, on goals by Harry Birch (a rebound off a beautiful corner kick from Dylan Hoy, which Walker Marsh volleyed and was saved on), and Noah Bender. But New Canaan got 1 with 15 minutes remaining. The Rams then came alive, and battled the frosh right to the end. But the Wreckers prevailed 2-1, to keep their unbeaten mark intact.