Staples vs. Newtown (State tournament Round of 16)

A midday drizzle made the ball slippery in the early going of this afternoon’s state “LL” match, but Staples was in control throughout the 1st half.

The Wreckers combined nicely, attacked well into the corners, earned corner kicks, and tried to keep the Nighthawks back on their heels.  One goal off a throw-in was negated by a foul, but in the 31st minute Matteo Marzoli launched a free kick to Brendan Lesch.  The junior midfielder sent Mike White through.  He finished authoritatively, slamming a shot into the back netting for a 1-0 lead.

Frankie Bergonzi, Sean Gallagher, Mikey Fitzgerald and Jack Hennessy kept the visitors at bay.  Michael McCarthy was forced to save a bullet in the 36th minute, but 2 minutes later a sweet series involving Lesch and Alan Reiter got the ball at Andrew McNair’s feet.  The quad-captain threw on a few fine moves, then laced a cross into the box.  Marzoli’s header was stunningly true.  It was his 1st goal of the year — and gave the Wreckers a solid 2-0 edge just before halftime.

At intermission the Wreckers talked about putting the Nighthawks away.  They tried to, but in the 53rd minute Adam Buccino halved the margin with a shot off a cross from Eric Thornberg in the far corner.

Lesch, McNair and Marzoli went back on the attack — yet Newtown was equally determined.  With 10 minutes left Hennessy cleared a ball off the line.

Three minutes later, Staples was not as fortunate.  A dumped ball caught them flatfooted, and Josh Engler converted.  The Nighthawks had battled back from a 2-goal deficit, and once again it was anyone’s game.

Suddenly, the blue-and-whites came alive.  Mikey Scott’s throws created havoc.  Lesch turned and fired in the box.  Scott just missed, high.  But Newtown absorbed the pressure well.  With 28 seconds to go in regulation, Buccino received a yellow card — the Nighthawks’ 2nd of the day.

Staples headed to overtime — their 1st extra-time game since the 2006 final against Simsbury.  A new state rule eliminated golden-goal victories this year — but with a twist.  The 1st 10-minute overtime is played to completion.  If one team leads, it wins.  If the score is still tied, another 10 minute period is played — also to completion.  Only then are penalty kicks taken.

The overtime periods saw Staples back in control.  They generated chance after chance — several of the spectacular variety.  But keeper Zach Dlouhy was equal to the task.  Twenty minutes of OT ended, with the score 2-2.  Both teams headed to the center circle, for PKs.

In their 2006 run to the finals, Staples played — and won — PK games in both the quarterfinals and semis.  Each went to the 2nd round of 5 kickers.

As in those matches, the Wreckers kicked 1st.  As in those games, Staples’ keeper took a turn.

This time, McCarthy had the 1st attempt.  His hard shot was good.

Newtown’s Matt Slattery went right, and scored.

White was saved well; Jeff Dinicola put his squad up by 1, after 2.

Marzoli nailed his try; when Newtown’s shot caromed off the post, the teams were again even.

Greg Gudis — kicker #4 — struck true.  McCarthy got a hand on Evan Kennedy’s blast, but could not redirect it.

Each team had 1 more attempt.

Reiter nailed his chance, perfectly.

The final Nighthawk kicker approached the ball, shot — and saw it sail high over the bar.

The large Loeffler Field crowd raced down the hill, engulfing the suddenly very relieved Wrecker squad.

It was a joyous celebration — and one the Staples squad took to heart.

“In the state tournament, anything can happen — and often does,” said head coach Dan Woog.  “Our job is to learn from every game we play — to take something from each tournament experience.  There are plenty of lessons to be gained from this one. ”  Final score:  Staples 3, Newtown 2 (PKs, 4-3).  Season record:  19-2.

QUICK KICKS: The quarterfinals will be played Saturday, at Amity-Woodbridge.  They tied Hamden 0-0; that match went to penalty kicks too, with Amity winning on PKs 4-1…

The Wreckers are 1-1 against Amity.  In 1993, Anson Ashby’s goal with 16 seconds remaining in the final overtime gave Staples a 1-0 victory in the quarterfinals — right after Amity had played a PK game.  The Wreckers went on to win the state championship — their most recent.  The following season, Amity eliminated Staples 2-0 — also in the quarterfinals….

Staples outshot Newtown 29-9, and led in corner kicks 4-1….

In other “LL” action, #1 Glastonbury shut out #16 Masuk 2-0;  #6 New Milford beat #11 Greenwich 3-0;  Guilford eliminated Trumbull 2-0;  Simsbury knocked out Central 1-0;  Fairfield Prep edged Southington 1-0, and #19 Shelton upset #3 Naugatuck 2-1.

Frankie Bergonzi

Once again, defender Frankie Bergonzi gets air -- this time over a Newtown attacker. (Photo by Lisa Krosse)

Mike White

Mike White and a Newtown Nighthawk in an aerial battle. (Photo by Lisa Krosse)

Staples boys soccer celebrates PK win over Newtown

Keeper Michael McCarthy leads the charge after the final penalty kick is taken. (Photo by Carl McNair)

45 responses to “Staples vs. Newtown (State tournament Round of 16)

  1. how about next time you dont make it so close? listening on wwpt was one of the hardest things ive ever had to do… good win though. keep it up boys

    • I second that – listening on the radio was brutal – but I’ll be dragging the kids out to Woodbrdge to watch next one in person – rain or shine!

  2. I can’t believe I beat Dan to this but Staples will be playing Amity on saturday

  3. who writes these?

  4. I write these. You have a problem with my writing style? Bobby get ready to be called out tomorrow on Around the Horn. Great win gentlemen. I enjoyed listening to the talented broadcast on your school’s radio.

  5. The real question, is who doesn’t write these?

  6. The boys have bits of spirit in side of them, shimmer me timbers the boys have a bit of spirit in them. ELLLO GOVNAH!

    staples will hopefully seal the deal this year, the whole school is pulling for you guys, make everyone proud, hugs and kisses and lucky chaarms from edinborough

  7. that anonymous response was hilarious
    and true!

  8. Pequeno de Espanol

    Es muy bueno. Buen trabajo. Quiero que vosotros ganar el campeonato del estado de connecticut. BUENA SUERTE

  9. Just to second Frankie. no more games like that please. its even more intense when you can’t see what’s going on

  10. Congrats on the win! Although, a few reliable sources who watched the game today said a star Wrecker player needs to pick up his intensity. State Titles are won and lost with hard, intense play, and not laid-back, style-first play with little urgency. Love this team, but I heard if Staples DOES lose, and I hope they don’t, certain players not playing with intensity will be the downfall. That’s an observation I received from today’s game – thought it was too good and honest not to share. Good luck, guys, and remember true grit will help you advance, and that the State Tourney is no place for conserving your energy or playing cute. Hard work and a little luck will get you guys to where you want to go. Keep up the good work!!

  11. Anyone who uses the vosotros tense in spanish clearly speaks very limited high school spanish. NO ONE uses vosotros..even in spain

  12. Pequeno de Espanol

    billy quiero que te estableces

  13. I’m glad you guys listened! Newtown gave us a run for our money

  14. The star players were not even in the game when it mattered, how was Lesch, White and Reiter all out of the game with only a one goal margin with 10min left?

  15. Will the match against Amity start at noon this Saturday regardless of the weather/is this a turf field? If not, how might a change in time and/or venue be communicated?

  16. I agree with anonymous. And Tim, cool your team won a state championship 16 years ago. Who do you think you are calling out a teenager? These players have enough pressure as it is.

  17. Victoria Dlamini-Dailey

    Great job players and best of luck on the next game.

  18. tim- i am sure that the person who you are talking is about is 100000000000 times better than you ever were

  19. We all know Tim’s heart is in the right place – the same place it was when each of us played for Staples.

    The key is they play as a team – that has always been our strength. Which means – they win as a team or lose as a team – that simple.

  20. anonymous. both of you, man up and say who you are.
    Tim knows what he’s talking about and wasn’t “calling anyone out” but simply trying to get the team to play its best because clearly the Newtown game was far from its best. he wasn’t calling out the kid’s skill but rather the fact that the team/player has got to work harder if they want to continue winning

  21. Tim was an incredible player. He played with heart, and left it all on the field. Plain and simple that’s what it takes to win a state title. Anonymous, what have you done except post negative comments anonymously? You should be proud.

    Boys, this is about you! Have fun, enjoy the moment, win every 50-50 ball and the rest will take care of itself.

  22. Well said Randel.

    Go get ’em boys.

    We are all behind you – generations of alumni/players who are damn proud of you. Keep your focus & play your game –

    “Victory always starts in the head. It’s a state of mind. It then spreads with such radiance and such affirmations that destiny can do nothing but obey. “

  23. Looks like I got some people fired up by passing along what I was told. Nice! Soccer isn’t pressure. Being in Iraq and Afghanistan is pressure. This is just a game. Good luck on Saturday guys! And by the way – the anonymous posts are from my Mom. Hi Mom!!

  24. As a strong supporter of the staples soccer program we should not be posting negative comments on this article but rather congratulating the boys on a well fought match and wish them luck against Amity on saturday. Dan and Kurt keep up the good work.

  25. Tim Caffrey, was it not a gritty enough performance for you?

  26. oh it was too gritty bobby. kinda like that great polenta i make

  27. My Mom is Bobby Flay.

  28. Can mike scott really fly?

  29. WWPT is trying to get to the game, but yes it will be hard. I dont think i personally am able to miss the classes and am unsure who would replace me. But we could, if we had a crew, set up with ease.

  30. Tim Caffrey get a life away from Staples Soccer. Its like a girl that broke up with you 20 years ago. You need to move on. Its high school soccer… Go eat some grits

  31. Ron Johnson – Okay. You’re right. I won’t care about my alma mater. Good idea. Good luck with your life. By the way, I was upset when your Mom broke up with me 20 years ago. Give her my best!

  32. In all seriousness – stupid insults over – all I want is for Staples to win another state title. I honestly believe, from what I’ve heard and seen, is that this team COULD be the best team of all time, and I wish that to be the case. In fact, I hope ALL Staples players are better than I was (which is most likely true). As an adult, there are a million things I care about, but Staples Soccer is definitely Top 10. Did I think that would be the case when I was 18? No. But it is. Because where you come from eventually becomes who you are. Good luck, guys! I truly wish the entire team the best and will be following you closely – as always. Victory or defeat, I’m truly proud of you all.

    • For Staples players who don’t remember: Tim is the guy who watched us at St. Joe’s last year, then came down and talked to us about the importance of “grit.” He is Staples soccer through and through — a proven winner, a passionate soccer fan, someone who truly wants everyone to get as much out of the sport and our program as he did.

  33. Caffrey What’s with you and moms. You’ve said a joke about mom three times. Strange

  34. I have a state championship on my resume because of Tim and his leadership. I find it a shame to log onto this site and see Staples soccer fans posting stupid crap about someone who was instrumental in the only state title we have won in the last 26 years. I will say that upon reading his post, I did question who his “reliable sources” were since I walked away from that game with a whole different set of complaints. However, I was happy to see that he is following along and we could all benefit from his opinions. Childish comments are funny and I encourage them, but insults hurled at Tim and his legacy have no place here in my mind.

    PS. Mom jokes are always funny when executed properly, Tim you failed in this manner

  35. Odell I love you

  36. I second that

  37. As you young boys get ready to take the pitch against the challenging adversaries from Amity, instead of listening to your Sony Zunes™, take the earbuds out and listen to the scores of superfans cheering for you. And as the soccer ball rolls to your feet ever-so gracefully, remember that it is a privilege to be playing at such a prestigious level of soccer: the Connecticut State Tournament. So as that Amity player comes a-charging at you, remember the countless hours that you and your teammates have spent on the pitch training for this very moment, and victory will surely be within your reach.

  38. People should stop posting trying to be someone you’re not. You can be anonymous just don’t be another real person.

    Chris O’Dell is a legend. Plain and simple.

  39. wreckers win 3-0! goals by White, Fitzgerald, Gudis. a great game had by all

  40. Good job boys. Keep it up!

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