Published on October 29th, 2021 | by Staples Soccer0
Match Report: FCIAC Quarterfinals vs. Fairfield Warde
With only 5 points separating the top 6 teams in the FCIAC playoffs, the tournament promised to be tight.
Fairfield Warde — 9-2-4, seeded 6th — arrived at Wakeman Field bent on revenge against #3, 10-1-4 Staples. The Wreckers’ come-from-behind 2-1 victory earlier this month rankled the Mustangs.
The visitors started strongly, but much of the first half was evenly played. Warde relied on a pair of front runners, and defended stoutly. The blue-and-whites did not play to feet as much as they hoped to, and it looked as if the opening 40 minutes would remain deadlocked.
With just 56 seconds to play, keeper Jacob Greenberger came out to save at the top of the box. He appeared to reach the ball first, but the Mustangs were awarded a controversial penalty. The shot was good, and the complexion of the game suddenly changed.
The Wreckers did all they could in the second half to draw level. Hunter Smith, Bruno Guiduli, Jackson Hochhauser and Jack Foster met most defensive challenges; they also initiated attacks, often roaring forward themselves. Murilo Moreno worked the left side artfully; Caleb Tobias used speed and touch on the right. Dylan Hoke and Jaden Mueller took care of the middle. Will Adams worked the corner; Reese Watkins and Ryan Thomas combined nice touches with a strong physical presence.
Crosses, corner kicks, shots on goal, rebounds — they were all there. But Warde withstood every challenge. They cleared balls off the line, and saved high ones. They were organized and focused.
Staples pressed forward, as the minutes ticked past. They kept their cool, and played their game. But chasing the game sometimes leads to counters, and the Mustangs got an insurance goal just 3 minutes from time.
It was a bitter defeat. The “second season” (FCIAC playoffs) ended just 48 hours after the first one (regular season).
There’s one more season ahead: the biggest and most important of them all. The state tournament starts Tuesday, November 9. Pairings will be announced next week. FINAL SCORE: Fairfield Warde 2, Staples 0. SEASON RECORD: 10-2-4.
QUICK KICKS: Head coach Dan Woog said, “I’m gutted for our guys. But they’re resilient. They understand: Soccer is a cruel game. And a great one. They’ll be focused and ready on Monday. The best part of the season is about to begin.”