Boy Soccer Beats Norwalk in First Round of States

Photo by Megan Root

Abbey Fernandez, Web Opinions Editor

For the Staples varsity boys’ soccer seniors, this past Tuesday’s game was the last time they will play soccer at Loeffler field. And what a good last home game it was.

Staples had an incredible 1-0 win over Norwalk for the first game of States. Norwalk beat Staples in the second round of States last year so this redemption was long overdue.

“It was payback after losing to them last year,” one of the captains, Diego Alanis ’14 said.

If there were one word to describe the game it would be fast. The players darted across the field at least twice a minute. Just watching the players constantly sprinting was tiring.

The passion both teams had to win was palpable and manifested itself in all of the players’ energy and resilience. There was plenty of pushing, diving, and head butting, which made for an action-packed, and what appeared to be painful, game. Plus the grass of Loeffler doesn’t make for the most ideal soccer-playing conditions, only adding to the intensity.

“Playing on grass makes it a lot harder to get the ball in the back of the net. From now on we’ll be playing on turf and we’re looking forward to scoring more goals,” another captain, Jack Scott ’14 said.

Speaking of not scoring goals…that seemed to be the missing from the game. Both teams had numerous shots on goal, but neither could score. It took 78 minutes, precisely, until the first and only goal of the game was scored by Joe Pravder ’15.

When this happy moment finally occurred in the last two minutes of the game, the Staples fans erupted in loud cheers fueled by sheer school spirit. However, there was even more excitement over on the field. All the Staples players that were in at the time ran over and dog piled on top of poor Pravder.

“I think I almost passed out from lack of air, but it was worth it,” Pravder ’15 said. He also made it a point to say he couldn’t have scored without the help of Michael Reid ’16.

And just seconds later, when the game was over, the cheering continued as the fans dashed on to the field to congratulate the players.

“The game remained close but I had no doubt we would win,” goalie, Noah Schwaber ’16 said.

Coach Dan Woog is not only proud of the win, but also of the player’s behavior and dedication while training after losing in FCIACs.

“I’m most proud of their resiliency and maturity — I’m glad it paid off for them,” Woog said.

Norwalk was the State champion last year, so this was a huge win for the boys. Next, Staples takes on either Newton or New Britain on Thursday, Nov. 7th at 2 p.m.