Published on September 16th, 2014 | by Staples Soccer0
Staples vs. Danbury (Game Report)
The last few times Staples has visited Danbury, the matches have gone down to the wire. Two years ago, for example, Noah Bender’s last-minute goal gave the Wreckers a key win in the final regular season contest.
This year the Hatters field one of the strongest teams in years — hearkening back to their standout sides of the 1980s and ’90s. The northerners feel they have a legitimate shot at an FCIAC championship, and started the season with a pair of wins (2-1 over Westhill, 6-0 against Central).
Staples — once again without Andrew Puchala — played a much more controlled game than against Wilton. They limited their hosts to a few outside shots, but could not generate much penetration in the box themselves.
An uncleared corner kick in the 31st minute gave Danbury the lead. But the blue-and-whites picked their heads up, and went back to work.
In the final seconds of the 1st half, strong pressure by Michael Reid led to a throw-in deep in the Hatters’ end. Gabe Pensak’s long throw was headed on, then headed out for a corner kick on the far side. Daniel Perez fell down, got up, glanced quickly at the clock, then laced a ball into the box. Josh Berman — the sophomore center back who races forward, a la Mikey Fitzgerald (and Puchala) on set pieces — headed it home from close range.
Just 5 seconds remained in the half.
Staples picked up the pace in the 2nd half. The Wreckers tried to find Nate Argosh wide on the left. They also went right, with Michael Reid and Patrick Beusse running the middle of the field and switching balls well. Daniel Reid patrolled the right side nicely.
Berman had a couple of other chances — notably on a Reid free kick — and in the 56th minute Beusse found a seam for a shot.
The Hatters were quick to counter and fleet in the box, but except for 2 fine stops by keeper Noah Schwaeber, were kept at bay by Berman, Pensak, Reid, Kenji Goto and Spencer Daniels.
The match ended with a Danbury corner kick. As Staples had done 40 minutes earlier, they flooded men forward. But this time the Wreckers cleared nicely, and the final horn sounded.
“There are 2 ways to tie,” head coach Dan Woog said. “You can get tied by losing a lead, or you can come from behind and tie the other team. It says a lot for our guys to come back the way they did, when they did.
“We saw a lot of good things tonight, including quick passing, laying off to feet, moving off the ball, and getting into the red zone. I’ll take a goal with 5 seconds to go any time — that shows a ton of character.
“Danbury is for real. Not a lot of teams will get 1 point here. We know what we can do now, and we look forward to getting better game by game.” FINAL SCORE: Staples 1, Danbury 1. Season record: 1-1-1.
QUICK KICKS: The annual car wash is this Saturday (September 20), 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Christ & Holy Trinity Church downtown (across from Java). All 3 teams — varsity, JV and freshman — participate….
Berman may have been fueled by last night’s pasta dinner — hosted by his parents….
The junior varsity lost 2-0 at Danbury, with both goals coming in the final 10 minutes of the 1st half. The 2nd half was much better, with Daniel Jersey and Rees Chang shining defensively….
The freshmen lost 3-1 to an inspired Danbury side. The Hatters went up 1-0 on a diving header after a misplayed ball in the back. Staples tied it when Will Birch followed a saved penalty kick. The Wreckers scored as time ran out at halftime, but the referee ruled it came a second too late. Another misplayed ball at midfield led to the second goal for Danbury; the 3rd was a rocket. Chris Martenson played strongly on defense, while Birch looked good up top.