Tom Petty was right: The waiting is the hardest part.
Staples’ pre-season seemed interminable. There were 2 rained-out scrimmages; then Ridgefield postponed the opening game, because they had too few practice sessions after Hurricane Irene shut school for a week.
So the Wreckers eagerly awaited today’s season opener, against St. Joseph. The match was moved to Indian Ledge Park, due to turf issues at the Cadets’ home. The teams were finally ready to kick off at 4 p.m. — but a scheduling mistake resulted in only one official.
Trumbull High coach Sebe Gangemi was at the game. He called veteran referee Joe D’Ascania, who lived nearby; problem solved.
So the season finally began — 2 days, and then half an hour, late.
The Wreckers got the 1st shot of the match, just 2 minutes in, from Lorenz Esposito. Staples was not spreading the field, though, and early play was rough.
Keeper James Hickok was forced into 2 saves midway through the period, but then the visitors began applying pressure.
In the 34th minute Dylan Hoy’s free kick bounced around the box. Terence Gibbons — a recent substitution — found it, and headed home for the 1st goal of the season.
David Hoffman — another reserve — created a couple of chances on the left side, just before halftime.
The 2nd half was smoother. The Wreckers connected on several 6- and 8-pass combinations. They dictated the play and pace more than before.
With Taylor McNair, Ben Root, Harry Birch, Jake Malowitz — and Alex Tonsberg, starting his first match at left back — the defense was solid.
At the other end of the field, Max Hoberman made great runs into the right corner. Steve Smith found him and Dylan Evans often. Malowitz and Tonsberg also surged into the attack.
Hickok’s punch save in the 70th minute was his toughest of the match. The Wreckers kept the ball at the other end for much of the rest of the time. And — after all that waiting — they finally had a game, and a win. Final score: Staples 1, St. Joseph 0. Season record: 1-0-0.
QUICK KICKS: Staples outshot St. Joseph 17-5, and led in corner kicks 3-0…
Junior varsity coach Seth Sholes made his debut a memorable one, winning 7-0 against St. Joseph. Andrew Travers got 2 goals; Yusef Shahin, Andreas Refvik, Foster Goldberg, Eric Pan and Robby Giannone netted 1 each. Also playing well were Harry Hlawitschka and Andreas Bru, while the back 4 of Greg Shikowitz, Jon Denowitz, Walker Marsh and Sam Koenig were “rocks,” according to Sholes.