Staples vs. Trumbull

With the quirky FCIAC schedule, the Wreckers have not played Trumbull since 2007.  That’s a shame; it’s one of the top rivalries in the FCIAC.

Today’s match was played on Trumbull’s grass field — but the skies were so dark, the lights were turned on.

The Eagles were turned on too.  Though Staples showed far more focus than in any previous outing this year — and Greg Gudis, Brendan Lesch, Mikey Scott, Max Hoberman and Steve Smith combined nicely on offense — the hosts struck first.

Speedy striker Keith Bond picked up a defensive giveaway, and finished strongly in the 12th minute.

They doubled the lead 6 minutes later.  Randy Stratton ran through on a free kick, heading high into the corner.

In the 25th minute, Anthony Teixera’s wicked free kick from the right side ripped through for a 3-0 advantage.

But — showing poise and commitment — the Wreckers came right back.  They pushed forward, creating opportunities in the box.  Scott’s throw-ins were effective too, and in the 28th minute one clicked.  Frankie Bergonzi — coming out of the back — headed Scott’s throw, and suddenly it was anyone’s game.

The Wreckers continued to attack with both numbers and combinations.  Two quick corners late in the half almost paid dividends.

The mood at halftime was upbeat.  The blue-and-whites knew they were playing their best soccer of the year — tactically and technically — and were eager to mount a stunning comeback.

Defenders Bergonzi, Steve Denowitz, Jake Malowitz, Jake Krosse and Court Lake did their job in the 2nd half, keeping the Eagles at bay.  But Trumbull’s backs were equally tough.  Staples fought to the end, but the lead held.

Head coach Dan Woog referenced another 3-1 defeat — in midseason last year at Brookfield — after the match.

“That was a bad, ugly loss,” he said.  “We played poorly then.

“This was a very different game.  We played good, smart soccer today.  We tackled hard, defended together, found teammates’ feet, took men on, ran off the ball and got chances in and around the box.

“Ultimately, it wasn’t enough.  Trumbull did a great job, and earned the win.  But I’m not displeased at all.

“We learned a lot today — about team tactics, team mentality, and what we need to do to earn the right to play Trumbull in the post-season.

“No one likes to lose.  But when the history of this team is written, today could be one of the most important matches all fall.”  Final score:  Trumbull 3, Staples 1.  Season record:  1-1-0.

QUICK KICKS: Staples led in shots 12-5, and corner kicks 4-1….

The last time the Wreckers beat Trumbull was 2003.  In 2007 the Eagles took the regular season match 1-0, then eliminated Staples in the 1st round of the state tourney 2-1.  In 2006 they tied 1-1 during the regular season, and 0-0 in the FCIAC finals.  There were 1-1 ties in the 2005 and ’04 regular seasons — and way back in ’03, a 2-0 Wrecker victory….

The junior varsity edged the Eagles 1-0, on a late Terence Gibbons strike….

The freshmen shut out Trumbull 4-0.  Jack Scott had 2 header goals; Diego Alanis scored what coach Chris O’Dell called a “nasty” shot, and Yousef Shahin — who played very well — also tallied….

The boys soccer car wash, originally scheduled for Sept. 25, has been postponed to Oct. 2.  The site is the Saugatuck Congregational Church.

Greg Gudis turns the corner in Trumbull. (Photo by Lisa Krosse)

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