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Published on September 12th, 2013 | by Staples Soccer


Staples vs. New Canaan — Game Report

Today’s match in New Canaan was originally scheduled for 7 p.m. at Dunning Field — the Rams’ turf stadium, with the state-of-the-art scoreboard.

The hosts’ back-to-school night forced a switch to 4 p.m. and Conner Field. The Wreckers have had plenty of success there over the years — but the grass was high and thick, hampering the visitors’ preferred ball control, tight passing style.

New coach Rich Sutherland has a young squad. They struggled in the 1st 20 minutes, as Staples moved the ball well (and wide) despite the conditions. In the 7th minute Diego Alanis earned a corner kick; the ball was headed wide. Charlie Leonard and Patrick Beusse worked the flanks well; Yousef Shahin commanded midfield, and Jack Scott and Joe Pravder pressured up front.

But midway through the half Jack Scott and New Canaan captain Alex Robey collided. Both were held out for the rest of the contest, as a precaution by the trainers.

Defenders George Kokkalis, Andrew Puchala, Connor Weiler and Gabe Pensak kept the Rams at bay, for the large part. But keeper Noah Schwaeber was forced into a good save in the 27th minute.

Alanis’ blast was not followed up. A few more shots — including a good effort by Graham Gudis — sailed wide. The half ended scoreless.

The Wreckers went back to work after intermission. They kept their width, maintained possession, and in the 50th minute it all paid off. Michael Reid found Leonard. The midfielder’s patient cross dropped into the goalmouth. Shahin timed his run perfectly, heading home with authority.

The Wreckers continued to press, though the Rams had their moments. Schwaeber made one more excellent save, in the 72nd minute. From there on Staples managed the game — and managed 3 more points on the young season. FINAL SCORE: Staples 1, New Canaan 0. Season record: 2-0-0.

QUICK KICKS:  The junior varsity also beat New Canaan 1-0. Daniel Brill notched the game-winner. Carl Amacker, Jack Zeldes and Matt Bateman excelled defensively for Coach Seth Sholes. Brill and Aidan Wisher controlled midfield, while Denzel Robinson and Jared Vishno made things happen up front…

The freshmen shut out New Canaan 5-0. Spencer Daniels scored the 1st 3 goals — a true hat trick — giving him his squad’s 1st 5 goals of 2013. Noah Lomnitz then buried a penalty kick. Brandon Harrington rounded out the scoring with a near side volley. Coach Chris O’Dell cited Jerrett Rende for his defensive work, and Rory Steele for his play at midfield….

Former Ram coach Victor Sanchez has moved to Florida.

Charlie Leonard shows his stuff against New Canaan. Referee Jesus Zornoza moves into position behind. (Photo/Kim Lake)

The team regroups during an injury timeout. Diego Alanis (10) and Andrew Puchala lead the discussion. (Photo/Kim Lake)


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