Published on October 4th, 2018 | by Staples Soccer0
Match Report: Staples vs. Westhill
The FCIAC soccer season is both a sprint and a slog.
It’s a sprint because 16 matches are crammed into less than 7 weeks. Yesterday seemed like opening day. Today, the Wreckers played their 10th match.
It’s a slog because players have to be ready — physically and mentally — game after game, day after day, week after week. It’s exhausting. But when things go right, it’s exhilarating.
Today’s match against Westhill was both a sprint and a slog. Two skillful, well-organized and quick teams met at Loeffler Field. But Tuesday’s heavy rain — and a light drizzle that fell midway through the contest — made running tough.
The first half was evenly played. Keeper Ry Cohen set the tone early, making a key save on a breakaway. Vaughan Sealey and Lefty Penderakis combined to earn 2 corner kicks. Sealey, Nick DiMasi and Patricio Perez Elorza combined well up front.
In the 25th minute, Westhill banged a ball off the crossbar. It sat tantalizingly in the goalmouth, until Nick Ambrose pounced and cleared.
Two minutes later Matthew Tanzer — the wide-ranging, strong-tackling, pinpoint-passing central midfielder — earned another corner. Staples quickly got another.
They broke through in the 33rd minute. DiMasi and Sealey worked a nifty 1-2 combination up the middle. When he got the ball back, DiMasi never hesitated. He ripped a no-doubt-about-it shot off the underside of the crossbar, from 25 yards.
With 10 seconds left in the half, Tanzer’s long free kick almost hit paydirt.
The hosts picked up where they left off in the second half, forcing keeper Michael Leiva into a tough save.
But the guests gave no quarter. They amped up their game after intermission, moving quickly on the counterattack. A long throw was particularly dangerous.
Staples’ defense — Ambrose, Rob Diorio, Surya Balaji and Perez Elorza — did a nice job of keeping the Vikings offsides. They supported each other well, aided by the defensive work — and then wide-open outlets — of Austin Sholes. He and Tanzer helped spring DiMasi, Sam Liles and Mauricio Inglada on the flanks.
The Wreckers’ best chance of the half came in the 56th minute. Josh DeDomenico played a great ball from the corner. Brendan Lynch’s shot sailed inches high.
Cohen came through again in the 75th minute, racing forward to stop another dangerous Westhill attack.
It was a gritty game — and a gritty victory. The slog — and the sprint to the finish — continue Monday. Staples heads to Stamford, for a 4 p.m. meeting with the always-tough Black Knights. FINAL SCORE: Staples 1, Westhill 0. SEASON RECORD: 6-2-2.
QUICK KICKS: Brendan Lynch earned his first start of the year, up top….
The reserves tied Westhill 0-0, in perhaps their best match of the season. Benny Feuer hit the crossbar with a header. Thomas Corridon looked very strong. Keeper Sebi Montoulieu had a game-saving stop on a breakaway. Coaches Russell Oost-Lievense and Reilly Lynch’s team is now 6-1-1.