The wind howled at Loeffler Field today — but nothing like yesterday. Gusts over 50 mph, coupled with snow, ice pellets, hail and rain forced a 24-hour postponement of the opening-round match with West Haven — and many other games in the state.
This afternoon was more like Wrecker tourney weather: sunny and crisp. That described Staples’ play in the opening minutes too. They controlled the tempo, forcing the Blue Devils’ defense to retreat. Having the wind at Staples’ backs did not hurt.
In the 15th minute, Jake Krosse unleashed a long free kick. It landed directly at the feet of Greg Gudis. The midfielder settled, waited patiently, touched to get the best angle, then blasted a shot directly over the keeper.
It took just 35 seconds for Staples to strike again. Mikey Scott’s long throw created chaos in the West Haven box — so much that the ball was mis-headed into the net by a back.
Another Gudis shot, and more disruption off a Scott throw, nearly made it 3-0. Then — less than 9 minutes after the Wreckers’ 1st tally — it was 3-0.
Once again, Scott’s throw was the catalyst. This time it was defender Steven Denowitz who outleaped everyone else, and power-headed home.
Scott and Lorenz Esposito combined well, and almost got a 4th before halftime.
With the wind, the Westies hoped to change things around. But Staples never let them back in the game. AJ Green, Alex Tonsberg, Taylor McNair and Steve Smith came off the bench to pace the hosts — and a host of other Wreckers, including Dylan Hoy, Felipe Troncoso, Lars Aanestad, Will Meinke, Dylan Evans, Harry Birch and Ryan Armour, also contributed well.
Terence Gibbons — called up from JV, and making his varsity debut — excited the crowd with a powerful effort.
The win advances #5-ranked Staples to the state LL 2nd round, set for 2 p.m. Thursday. They host #12 Guilford. The Indians advanced with a 1-0 win over New Milford — revenge for last year’s state semifinal loss. Final score: Staples 3, West Haven 0. Season record: 17-2-1.
QUICK KICKS: The Wreckers led in shots (8-2) and corner kicks (8-3)….
This was the 4th state tournament meeting between Staples and West Haven. The Wreckers won 4-0 in 1983; 4-1 in 1984, and 1-0 in 2000.…
Several Superfans are selling “Wrecker Wrags” for $5. Funds raised go to breast cancer awareness. Contact Jake Felman, Dylan Meissner or Luke Yeager to purchase.