Published on October 22nd, 2013 | by Staples Soccer0
Staples vs. Westhill: Game Report
Today’s match — the final one of the regular season — followed intense games yesterday for both sides. Staples fell 2-1 to Fairfield Ludlowe; Westhill tied New Canaan.
Before this afternoon’s opening whistle, the Vikings knew they had to win — and get help from 2 other teams — to qualify for the FCIAC tournament, which begins Friday. The Wreckers stood in 4th place in the 8-team event. A win would guarantee 4th place, and perhaps earn them 3rd. A loss would drop them to 5th — and send them on the road for the 1st match.
Staples also knew they’d be without yet another starter. Yousef Shahin was injured in yesterday’s loss. He joined fellow defenders Andrew Puchala (also the team’s leading scorer) and Connor Weiler on the sidelines; both made brief appearances yesterday.
The Wreckers’ quick-passing game was on, on Westhill’s excellent turf. Jack Scott, Diego Alanis, Joe Pravder, Charlie Leonard, Michael Reid and Patrick Beusse worked together well. But the field is short and narrow, and Staples’ forays into the corners were too infrequent. Goals would not come straight up the middle.
The Vikes’ #10 — Filosmar Cordeiro — is a quick, skillful and crafty player. When defenders George Kokkalis, James Lewis, Kenji Goto and Foster Goldberg doubled him up, they contained him well. When they jumped, he pounced.
Kokkalis was particularly solid in back, while Lewis’ speed saved the day when Staples’ step-it-up offsides ploy did not work. Mostly, it did.
In the 29th minute, Scott put on a slick move. The co-captain turned and fired. His shot hit the post. The Wreckers could not put 2 rebounds in. They earned a corner kick, but it went for naught.
Keeper Brenden Price — filling in superbly for the injured Noah Schwaeber — saved brilliantly on Cordeiro in the 33rd minute. That kept the 1st half scoreless.
Staples stepped up the pace in the 2nd half. But the hosts caught them on a breakaway in the 50th minute. Cordeiro finished, splitting the defense.
The Wreckers ramped it up even more. They knocked the ball well and quickly. Graham Gudis, Daniel Perez Elorza and Steven Sobel worked the left side nicely — and Sobel’s long throw added another weapon.
But Gudis’ free kick was saved; a 68th-minute blast by Alanis was denied; minutes later Westhill keeper Juan De La Cruz saved again. The Wreckers kept coming — but the goals did not.
Westhill cleared a ball in the waning seconds. A long shot by Cordeiro went in after the horn sounded, though the officials allowed it to stand.
“Soccer is a cruel game,” head coach Dan Woog said. “We’ve ended the regular season with 2 very tough — you could say ‘bitter’ — defeats.
“But the beauty of soccer is, the next game always starts 0-0. Our guys are playing well. They fought like warriors to the end, in the last 2 games — all season long, in fact.
“At the end of the match, we talked about the 3 ‘seasons’ of high school soccer. The 1st one is over. We could look backward — but we won’t. We’re looking ahead, at the next 2 ‘seasons’: the FCIAC tournament, and then states. We could have 2 games left, or 8. It’s up to us.
“It doesn’t matter who we play, or where. The guys who wear the ‘S’ on their chest are ready.” FINAL SCORE: Westhill 2, Staples 0. FINAL SEASON RECORD: 10-4-2.
QUICK KICKS: Today marked the 1st time all year the Wreckers have been shut out…
Staples outshot Westhill 12-8. The Wreckers had 4 corner kicks, to the Vikings’ 3….
The junior varsity beat Westhill 2-0. Aidan Wisher converted an early penalty. Late in the match, Denzel Robinson finished a counterattack nicely. Jack Zeldes and Daniel Brill starred defensively, while Ethan Kobak’s long throw caused problems all day. Coaches Seth Sholes and Brad Green’s JVs conclude an excellent season with a 9-2-3 mark….
The freshmen completed an undefeated (12-0-0) season with a 3-1 victory over Westhill. Daniel Jersey blasted a 30-yarder; Stephen Rowland’s header broke a 1-1 tie, and Spencer Daniels closed out the scoring with a well-placed shot. Coach Chris O’Dell and Julien Delepine’s frosh allowed only 3 goals in 12 matches. Congratulations to all!