Strong senior class leads boys’ soccer to late season victory

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Strong senior class leads boys’ soccer to late season victory

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By Kevin Rabacs ’19 and Mark Didio ’20

Staples boys soccer topped New Canaan 1-0 in a chippy, physical contest. The win improves their record to 9-2-4, placing the Wreckers in a great position with one game remaining in the regular season.

 

The Wreckers’ 11 seniors started the game after pregame festivities and led the Wreckers to an FCIAC playoff clinching victory.

 

The first half was slow, both teams created chances, but ultimately couldn’t score. Nick Ambrose ’19, Matthew Tanzer ’19 and Gabe Baltierra ’19 led the Wreckers on defense, denying New Canaan of getting good shots on goal. On the offensive end, as the game progressed the Wreckers began to find openings in the New Canaan defense. Nick Dimasi ’19 looked solid all day on the wing, breaking past defenders and setting up his teammates.

 

After the half, the Wreckers finally got their big break. Dimasi found Austin Sholes ’19 down the left side and Sholes took it from there.

 

“I made a run past the forwards and Nick Dimasi gave me a great through ball and I looked up and passed it into the bottom right corner past the keeper,” Sholes ’19 said. “I was excited I scored because this game clinched us an FCIAC playoff spot and this was the breakthrough goal.”

 

From there the Wreckers continued to dominate defensively. Whenever New Canaan could create an opening, it was denied by senior keeper Ry Cohen ’19. In a game where the Wreckers struggled to change the scoreboard offensively, this was huge.

 

“It was a really great game for us. The defense defended really well and everything was really compact,” Cohen  said. “It felt really nice to get the clean sheet on senior day.”

 

However, the game was very physical. Multiple players ended up on the ground as a result of the contact that transpired throughout the contest. Callum Wisher ’20, a right back, was knocked over within the final minutes of the game.

 

“The game was very physical in both halves,” Wisher said. “Things got much worse in the second half though, it definitely reached its peak when the midfielder from New Canaan ran me over.”

 

Following the win, Staples is tied for third in a tight FCIAC playoff race with one game to play. Tuesday, the Wreckers head to St. Joseph to face the 3-10-2 Cadets and look to clinch a home playoff game.

 

“I really think that we can really compete for this FCIAC championship,” Sam Liles ’20. “This team has really worked hard to get where we are today.”

 

With a strong senior class, meshed with several key juniors, this team has the makeup of a potential championship winning team.

 

“The seniors have kept us calm in big moments, they’ve been leaders on and off the field, and they will be truly missed at the end of the season,” Patricio Perez Elorza ’20 said.

 

Time will tell for the Wreckers, and a win on Tuesday can put them in a great position to reach the high bar this senior class has set.

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