Staples Vs. St. Joseph

With an opening-day coaching-issue postponement (Harding) and a one-day weather delay (St. Joseph), the Wreckers’ season has started slowly.

Today’s home opener featured a Cadets team that fell 1-0 to Staples last fall. Both sides fielded several young players.

The Wreckers — coming off a disappointing 2-1 loss at Ridgefield — wanted to make their mark on the game early.

They did, with spirited attacking. Jack Scott got inside quickly; Joe Greenwald drove the end line; Andrew Puchala tried a header off a corner, and Scott sent Jordan McNair in.

Greenwald — a co-captain — left early in the 1st half, after falling hard. The blue-and-whites used Noah Bender and Andrew Travers along with Diego Alanis up top, and attacked out of the back. They kept creating chances, but at halftime — despite leading in shots 11-0 — the score was deadlocked.

The Wreckers almost hit paydirt early in the 2nd half. Keeper James Hickok’s long side volley found Joe Pravder on the right. The freshman sent Scott across, but he too was denied.

More goalmouth action followed — but still it was 0-0. With 10 minutes to go, Cadet keeper Tim Keckler saved a penalty kick.

Staples went right back to work. Two minutes later Harry Birch — who ran the midfield all day — laced a corner kick into the mixer. Alanis flicked on, and in the ensuing scramble sophomore defender Puchala headed the ball home.

The hosts managed the clock from there on. They almost iced it 30 seconds from time, but Keckler tipped Travers’ blast over the top.

“We always say it doesn’t matter when the goal comes,” head coach Dan Woog said. “Today proved it.

“We’ll probably have a lot of matches like that this year. I liked our willingness to go forward, and the chances we created. We didn’t finish as often as we liked — but that’s why soccer is such a tough, exciting game.” Final score: Staples 1, St. Joseph 0. Season record: 1-1-0.

QUICK KICKS: Staples outshot St. Joseph 23-2, and led in corner kicks 9-0….

The junior varsity shut out St. Joseph 6-0. Andreas Refvik had the 1st 2 goals; Denzel Robinson the next 2; then Foster Goldberg and Sterling Price rounded out the scoring. Price and Daniel Boyce earned assists. Gabe Pensak and Victor Kolbin played well for Seth Sholes and Brad Green’s side.

Freshman Joe Pravder ignored obstacles to make things happen against St. Joseph. (Photo by Carl McNair)

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