Coming into today’s home opener at Loeffler Field, Central had a sparkling record: 2-0, with 15 goals scored and 0 allowed.
The Wreckers were less impressive: 1-1; 3 goals for, 4 against.
With last year’s season-ending 2-0 defeat at Bridgeport in mind, the Wreckers seemed ready for a breakout game. They were focused during warm-ups, and with the stiff wind at their back in the 1st half, their chances looked good.
Keeper James Hickok was forced into an early save following a giveaway, but then Staples settled down. Greg Gudis won a ball and headed to goal; Jake Krosse penetrated on the right side; Gudis and Steve Smith connected on a good chance; Court Lake sent Brendan Lesch in — those were happening, while the Hilltoppers had a tougher time, going into the wind.
But Central did a good job keeping the scoreline clear. Meanwhile the Westporters missed midfielder Max Hoberman, sent for stitches following a mouth injury.
At halftime, the blue-and-whites talked about the need now, in the 2nd half, to keep the ball on the ground. They barely had a chance to try, when the visitors struck.
Flailing in the back led to an Edir Da Graca goal. For the 2nd time in 2 games, the Wreckers were behind.
They showed flashes of “Staples soccer” in the remaining 37 minutes. Jake Malowitz and Steven Denowitz held down the middle, and initiated several good passing combinations with Gudis, Mikey Scott and Lars Aanestad.
But Central repelled every attack. The few legitimate Staples chances flew high, or were saved by well-positioned keeper Mario Pecirep.
The Hilltoppers proved their quick start is no fluke. Their tight play and solid defense paid great dividends. They remain unbeaten, unscored-upon — and challenging for supremacy in the FCIAC. Final score: Central 1, Staples 0. Season record: 1-2-0.
QUICK KICKS: The junior varsity shut out Central 4-0. Terence Gibbons (2), Joe Greenwald and Ryan Petersen scored.