Staples vs. New Canaan

New Canaan brought a 9-3-2 record to Loeffler Field — good for 5th place in the ultra-tight FCIAC race. The Wreckers — 9-4-1 — stood 7th.

Staples took charge at the start. In the 11th minute Yousef Shahin played a long ball out of the back. Jordan McNair calmly settled, saw the keeper off his line, and beat him for an early lead.

Three minutes later, it was 2-0. Another ball over the top — this one from the other outside back, Jack Scott — sent Noah Bender forward. He too finished patiently. It looked like a rout was on.

But the Rams’ Nico Deambrosio halved the deficit in the 21st minute, following a giveaway near midfield. Harry Birch left with an injury, and the match became more even.

Staples did not convert a goalmouth scramble, and entered halftime up by 1.

Bender opened the 2nd half with a great shot that was stuffed by keeper Michael Powell.

The action flowed back and forth. Keeper James Hickok saved a tough free kick. Powell countered with a fine tip save of Ethan Bradeen’s header, off Bender’s corner kick.

The Wreckers were a toe poke away from a 3rd goal in a 55th-minute goalmouth scramble. Connor Weiler fed Joe Greenwald a minute later; New Canaan forced a corner kick.

Weiler seemed in on goal, alone, but was called offside.

With just 16 minutes to go, Keith Griffin’s 40-yard shot into the upper corner drew the Rams level.

Staples came right back. Greenwald made a great run into the box, and Bender, McNair and Andrew Travers kept pressing. But New Canaan countered well, and the evenly played matched ended exactly that way: dead even.

“On paper, they were the slight favorites,” head coach Dan Woog said. “On the scoreboard, we had the lead. We can’t be satisfied.

“Starting on Friday (in the FCIAC and state tournaments), there are no ties. The toughest teams — mentally as well as physically — prevail.” FINAL SCORE:  Staples 2, New Canaan 2. SEASON RECORD: 9-4-2.

QUICK KICKS:  New Canaan led in shots, 10-8, but the Wreckers had 7 corner kicks to the Rams’ 3….

Staples’ 11 seniors were honored in a brief ceremony before their last regular season home match: Noah Bender, Harry Birch, Ethan Bradeen, Jon Denowitz, Joe Greenwald, James Hickok, Sam Koenig, Matt Liebergall, Ryan Petersen, Greg Shikowitz and Andrew Travers….

There will be a new FCIAC champion this year. Trumbull — the defending champ — did not qualify for the tourney….

The junior varsity shut out New Canaan 2-0. Andreas Refvik scored from long range, and Andreas Bru nailed a free kick from 25 yards out. Bobby Jacowleff and Andrew Osorio kept the scoreline clean in goal; Gabe Pensak and Sterling Price controlled midfield, while Sebo Hood and and Charlie Jersey played well defensively….

The freshmen also shut out New Canaan 2-0. This 1st goal began witha Brenden Price punt against the wind. It bounced once; Graham Gudis skipped the ball on, and Daniel Brill finished with a nice volley.  The 2nd score — a Daniel Perez-Elorza breakaway — sealed the game with 5 minutes left. Gudis assisted again.  Perez-Elorza distributed well, and Rees Chang, Grant Sirlin and Carl Amacker put in strong defensive efforts at midfield.

Noah Bender excitedly chases down a ball against New Canaan. (Photo by Carl McNair)

Sam Koenig gives secret signs prior to a throw-in. (Photo by Carl McNair)

As shadows fall, James Hickok saves against New Canaan. (Photo by Carl McNair)

 

 

 

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