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Published on October 1st, 2021 | by Staples Soccer


Match Report: Staples vs. Darien

Darien pulled out all the stops today. The match against Staples featured cheerleaders, and their first livestream of the season.

It was a huge game for the Blue Wave. After a season-opening 1-1 draw with Norwalk, they were riding a 6-game win streak. Now came their biggest test: similarly undefeated (3-0-3) Staples.

The Wreckers were mired in a scoring drought — 1 goal in 4 matches — but had been playing well. They worked the ball out of the back confidently, possessed well, and were creating good (though not great) chances in the box.

Murilo started Staples off with a wide shot. Will Adams fed Murilo for another good chance. Tim Liakh — making his first start at midfield — and outside back Matthew Genser showed the Wreckers’ depth.

But the Wavers drew first blood. James Kennedy leaped high to head in a 17th-minute corner kick. It was the first goal the Wreckers conceded from the field this year. (New Canaan tallied on a penalty kick.) It also marked the first time they fell behind in a game.

Staples responded. Thirteen minutes later Genser’s cross from the corner was punched away by keeper Will Lehan. The ball bounced around; Reese Watkins touched it forward, and Jaden Mueller finished from close range.

The hosts — with a strong back 4, and a midfield that matched up well with Staples came right back. The Westporters’ defense of Genser, Jackson Hochhauser, Bruno Guiduli and Caleb Tobias caught Darien offside often 10 times throughout the match.

But the one time Staples did not step up together, they got burned. Kennedy buried a 58th-minute breakaway, for a 2-1 edge.

The Wreckers turned it on in the final 20 minutes. They worked both sides, and Watkins, Will Adams and Matthew Jordan delivered some searing crosses. But Lehan was equal to the task, snaring a few balls low and many more high, in traffic.

The Wreckers led in shots, 10-4, and corner kicks. 5-4. But the one statistic that counts — the final score — favored the still-undefeated, and very joyful, Darien Blue Wave. FINAL SCORE: Darien 2, Staples 1. SEASON RECORD: 3-1-3.

QUICK KICKS: There is no rest for the Wreckers. Their next match — away on Tuesday — is against another undefeated squad: Fairfield Warde. Kickoff is 4 p.m….

Staples trained last night under the lights, on the football field — a first for the program….

The reserves thrashed Darien, 6-1, with some great goals. The second of Ethan Cukier’s 2 strikes was a volley into the top corner, from Alex Laskin. Kyle Ambrose hit the top corner from the edge of the box. Santi Alfageme added a hedaer, and Adam Syah fired into the far corner, after a run into the box from right back. Matt Shackelford added one of his own. Coach Chris Flaherty called it “a great team effort.”….

The freshmen had a corker against Norwalk. Coach Elisee Joseph’s squad got a goal from Luca Caniato, and an own goal. But the performance of the day — and a Staples record — came from Andrew Oppenheimer. In his first year as a goalkeeper, he saved 3 penalty kicks. That’s a new Staples record.

Jaden Mueller scores at Darien. (Photo/Mark Sikorski)


Murilo Moreno and Dylan Hoke battle — together — at midfield. (Photo/Mark Sikorski)


No, the ball is not flat. And Dylan Hoke’s head is normal. (Photo/Barry Guiduli)


Matthew Jordan controls; Jaden Mueller admires. (Photo/Barry Guiduli)


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