Published on September 22nd, 2022 | by Staples Soccer0
Match Report: Staples vs Wilton
Things did not look good for Wilton, before tonight’s home match at Kristine Lilly Field.
The Warriors were 0-5, following losses to Fairfield Warde, Norwalk, New Canaan, Brien McMahon and Stamford. Their head coach was home sick. Their opponent, Staples, was coming off a dramatic win against Westhill.
Things looked even tougher 9 minutes from time. Thirty seconds after coming on for his first-ever varsity appearance, Chase Watkins’ corner kick found the head of Ben Douglas. The co-captain — a defender but a dangerous 6-4 attacker on set plays — outleaped everyone to head home a tie-breaking goal.
The Wreckers had been playing strong, possession soccer, against a scrappy, motivated Wilton side that gained confidence the longer the 0-0 deadlock lasted.
But the hosts equalized a minute later, on a shot that was deflected in. Two minutes after that, Cole Vanden Heuvel seized on a rare moment of Staples confusion in the back to rocket in a 20-yard shot.
The final minutes were tense and chippy. The Wreckers played the last 5:17 a man up, after a Warrior player was shown his second yellow card of the match. They had several chances, but lost 2 players with late-game injuries.
Wilton held on for the win. “This was a totally different team today,” said one longtime Wilton soccer observer, referring to the team’s earlier struggles. “They really put it together tonight.”
Lilly Field is wide, and the turf plays well. It’s a great venue for a quick-passing, swing-it-around, play-to-feet possession team like Staples, and they knocked the ball around well for much of the match. But despite seeing less of the ball, Wilton had the better opportunities in the first half. They might have gone up in the 29th minute, but a penalty kick caromed off the crossbar.
The Warriors threatened again in the 50th minute, but the shot was just wide. The Wreckers came right back, nearly connecting off Alex Laskin’s long free kik.
Keeper Nick Sikorski came through twice, once snagging a high ball and then stuffing a breakaway.
In the 67th minute Avery Mueller slotted a dangerous ball across the box, but no ono met it.
That set the stage for the heroics by Douglas and Watkins, a junior called up from the reserves who made the most of his first varsity opportunity — and then the come-from-behind efforts of a Wilton squad, playing their best game of the year by far. FINAL SCORE: Wilton 2, Staples 1. SEASON RECORD: 2-3-1.
QUICK KICKS: The reserves and freshman matches were scheduled for grass fields ….
Thomas Corridon ’22 is taking a post-grad year at Woodstock Academy. He is the only American on the Centaurs’ roster, which includes players from more than a dozen countries from Canada, England, Mexico and Spain to Ecuador and Senegal. Last weekend they went 2-0 at the Mainline Soccer Jamboree in Pennsylvania, with wins over the Shipley School (2-1) and the #3 prep school in the nation, Seton Hall Prep of New Jersey (3-2).