Central received good news earlier today: Westhill forfeited 2 games (ineligible player), and 1 was to the Hilltoppers. That raised the Bridgeporters’ record to 9-2-3.
More good news came for both squads just before tonight’s match. The day-long rains ended, and though the Kennedy Stadium surface was far from ideal — the soggy yet slick surface caused balls to skip and players to slide — it was not the enormous puddle it had been during this afternoon’s JV game.
Central celebrated their seniors just prior to the match (and added a very classy moment of silence for Staples’ Preston Hirten too).
Just 3:28 into the game, 1 of those seniors — all-stater Reco McLaren — raced through the defense and finished strongly. As against Brookfield, the Wreckers were in an early hole.
Unlike Brookfield, Staples regrouped strongly. Alan Reiter’s 8th-minute header off a corner kick sailed just high. Three straight corner kicks midway through the period also led to great chances.
But the Hilltoppers were dangerous too. Michael McCarthy came up with a great save in the 14th minute.
And then, just before halftime — just like in Brookfield — the home side scored again. It was McLaren again, lacing a shot that skipped through.
Down 2-0, the Wreckers tried gamely to recover. But Central’s defense hung tough. And when the final horn sounded — signaling the end of both the game and the FCIAC regular season — it was a night for all the Hilltoppers to celebrate.
Meanwhile, Staples gets ready for the FCIAC tournament. The quarterfinals Friday pit the #1 seeded Wreckers against #8 Westhill. Despite their forfeits, the Vikings snuck in on the final day, thanks to a 4-1 victory over Fairfield Ludlowe. Final score: Central 2, Staples 0. FCIAC final record: 14-1-0. Overall: 14-2-0.
QUICK KICKS: Despite the loss, Staples’ record was the best in the FCIAC regular season. They earn the Ralph King Cup — given to the team with the best regular season mark — for the 2nd consecutive time, 3rd in 4 years, and 4th since the award was established in 2000….
Staples led in shots, 16-11, and corner kicks, 11-1….
The junior varsity beat Central 3-1, on goals by Steve Smith (penalty kick), George Birch and Aaron Liu (his 1st of the year). Congratulations to Ross McGibney’s squad, for their stellar 13-0-1 season.