Published on October 7th, 2021 | by Staples Soccer0
Match Report: Staples vs. Trumbull
That’s what the Staples coaches wrote on the locker room whiteboard.
The numbers described the Wreckers’ record against Trumbull since 2011. In that span, the Eagles won 8 times. There were 5 draws.
The Westporters played some good games, and some bad ones. They lost and drew with good Trumbull squads, and not-so-good ones. The matches included regular season, FCIAC playoffs and the state tournament — most recently, 2019 in a penalty kick shootout.
Staples had not won against Trumbull since 2010 — more than a decade ago.
The goal today at Loeffler Field was to change that. The goal was to score some goals.
One almost came in the opening minutes. Caleb Tobias sent Murilo Moreno through, with a great ball. Only a spectacular save by keeper Jack Lumpinski — and then his goal line clearance, on Reese Watkins’ follow-up — kept the score line clean.
In the 10th minute, Moreno took a ball calmly. He headed along to Will Adams, whose shot caromed in off the far post. Adams’ first varsity goal was good for a quick lead.
The Wreckers had chances to extend it. Tobias had a solid chance; so did Dylan Hoke on the follow-up. Jack Foster and Moreno worked the ball to Jaden Mueller; his header was saved on the line. A Wrecker steal sent Moreno through again; he was saved, for a corner kick. Adams’ shot from Mueller was saved. Avery Mueller fed Matthew Genser, for another rip.
The halftime talk was different than usual. Up to now, Staples has been a second-half team. This time, their first half was strong. Now, the coaches said: Kick it up even further. Don’t let up. Add to the lead.
Six minutes after intermission, they did. Hunter Smith drove up the left side, and turned into the box. His shot was wide, but Tobias took a shot The save deflected back to Reese Watkins. The striker — Tuesday’s hero, with 2 goals to beat Fairfield Warde, fired in for a 2-0 lead.
The blue-and-whites almost had #3 when Trumbull was whistled for a foul on Moreno at midfield. He’d already sent the ball forward for a Jaden Mueller breakaway, drawing howls from the Wrecker partisans.
In the 56th minute, it was 3-0 for real. Foster dumped a ball into the box. The Eagles thought Tobias was offside, and stopped playing. With all the time in the world, the former Beachside academy player had one of the calmest tap-ins of his career. It was his first ever wearing the Staples “S.”
Staples was clearly in charge. Until they weren’t.
A minute after Tobias’ goal,, too-casual defense and a bad bounce, gave the visitors a long chip goal over keeper Jacob Greenberger’s head.
Three minutes after that, another defensive lapse cut the Wreckers’ lead to 3-2. Now Trumbull had all the momentum.
But as quickly as Staples lost control of the match, they got it back. Rather than crumbling, they settled down. Once again they dictated the tempo, controlled midfield, found feet, drove forward, and attacked relentlessly.
In the 67th minute Matthew Jordan sent Watkins in, one-on-one with the keeper. His calm finish gave his side a bit of breathing room.
Staples breathed easier 2 minutes later. Tobias’ shot from the right side did not score, but Watkins was in the right spot to smash in his third goal of the day — and fifth in 2 matches.
Yet the Wreckers were still not finished. Tobias snagged his third assist of the day, on a blast by Ryan Thomas. Like Adams, it was his first varsity goal ever.
It was a sweet victory for Staples — important for recovering after a mid-game stumble; important for their goal-scoring confidence; important for sending a message to the league. And important for breaking Trumbull’s long, impressive unbeaten streak against them.
The first thing they did in their locker room was change the 0-8-5 whiteboard message.
It now reads: 1-0-0. FINAL SCORE: Staples 6, Trumbull 2. SEASON RECORD: 5-1-3.
QUICK KICKS: Brewster Galley, Spencer Levine and Sam Vannart all made their varsity debuts today …
This was the most goals scored by Staples since a 6-0 win over Trinity Catholic in 2019 ….
The reserves overcame a 1-0 halftime deficit to win 3-1 against Trumbull. Matt Shackelford scored twice, and Ethan Cukier once. Luca Escalarte and Campbell Gerrard shone for Staples.