[Sept. 2016 Sports] Fall Sports Preview

By Cooper Boardman ’17 Web Managing Editor

YOU NEED TO KNOW…

Field hockey on fire

Perhaps the best story of this fall season has been the field hockey team. Entering its third week of play, Staples was 7-0 and had yet to allow a goal, outscoring opponents 50-0 in that span. The team’s dominance has been staggering, highlighted by 14-0 and 8-0 rompings of St. Joseph and Stamford respectively. And that 50 goal total is already eight more than last year’s squad scored in its entire season a year ago. While the team has faced the FCIAC’s bottomfeeders thus far, a six-game stretch against the league’s heavyweights—New Canaan, Wilton, Norwalk, Ridgefield, Darien and Warde—will determine if the Wreckers are truly title contenders.

 

Soccer struggles… or not?

The boys’ soccer team got off to a rough start in its 2016 campaign, opening 1-2-2 with losses to Stamford and Danbury. In Connecticut’s deepest soccer league, the Wreckers looked to be in challenging territory as it attempted to climb up the FCIAC standings. However the team responded with a strong performance, tying an undefeated Greenwich side. The win win was due in part to goalie Ziggy Hallgarten ’17 who dyed his hair bright blonde after the team’s slow start to the season. Hallgarten cited the fact “something needed to change.” The senior captain came up with a game-high six saves, preserving the shutout and keeping the Wreckers’ playoff hopes alive. On the girls’ side, Staples entered week three with a record of 4-1-1, but the team suffered a huge blow to its postseason hopes with the loss of captain and Yale commit Lydia Shaw ’17, who tore her ACL and will miss the remainder of the season. Nonetheless, the Wreckers will still be a contender in the FCIAC with opportunities against the league’s best in Greenwich and St. Joseph still ahead, and will look for Fordham-bound Charlotte Rossi ’17 and Bucknell commit Tia Zajec ’17 to shoulder the load in Shaw’s absence.

 

Too early to tell

On the gridiron, the football team is off to a 3-0 start. The parallels to field hockey are evident— they have dominated opponents, outscoring Brien McMahon, Danbury and Wilton by a combined score of 116-26, but the toughest part of the schedule is ahead for the Wreckers. Two easier league games remain on the docket in Fairfield Warde and Stamford. But the team’s first true test comes on the road against Norwich Free Academy on Oct. 8. If the Wreckers can survive the hour-plus bus ride and state power and defeat Ridgefield two weeks later, they could conceivably be 7-0 entering week eight against an undefeated defending state champion in Darien. To be fair, it’s early on, and Staples still has to run the gauntlet with all of its next four games on the road, including a trip to a hostile environment at Tiger Hollow.

 

Other notes

Overall, it’s been a successful campaign thus far for Wrecker teams. Staples fall sports began the year a combined 16-3-2 over the first two weeks—a cumulative winning percentage of .809. Girls’ volleyball is back on the rise after a couple of tough seasons, including a 3-0 sweep of defending state champion Fairfield Ludlowe. The boys’ cross country team has continued its dominance on the course, winning the Stratton Brook invitational on Sept. 17, led by Zak Ahmad ’17’s performance.

 

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

 

Head Football Coach Marce Petroccio following his 200th career victory on Sept. 9: “It means I’ve been around here a long time… it means I have been blessed with the opportunity to coach great kids, great players, on as well as off the field. They own every single win I’ve ever had here.”

 

Field hockey Head Coach Ian Tapsall on his team’s 7-0 start: “We’ve broken records already in the first half of the season. That being said it was an easier half of the [league]; but I think the girls want to know exactly where they stand. I, for one, am desperate to see what we’ve done in training and if it’s come to the fore.” (Quote courtesy Ryan Lacey, Westport News)