Ridgefield outlasts Staples in overtime
Published 10:08 pm, Wednesday, November 8, 2017
RIDGEFIELD — Between state tournament nerves and a stubborn Staples defense, the Ridgefield boys soccer team took nearly the entire 80 minutes of regulation in its Class LL second-round game to find any sense of offensive rhythm.
With a penalty shootout looming after overtime, the Tigers finally struck.
Scooter Glass’ goal with 4:45 left in the first overtime period handed the No. 5 Tigers a 1-0 win over the No. 21 Wreckers in an all-FCIAC affair Wednesday night at Tiger Hollow.
Penalties seemed a near-formality after a defensive-minded goalless regulation. But Ridgefield slowly gained ground in the final third and sent a few warning shots before Glass finally gave his team the lead after Michael Grevers hit a long shot that went off the post.
“Michael made a great play off a give-and-go with JT Siano,” Glass said. “He just hit the post and I was lucky enough to finish it off. We were a little nervous in the second game of states; we had some jitters in us and we finally settled them throughout the game.”
Ridgefield had a shot cleared off the line late in regulation, and Staples goalie Ry Cohen tipped a shot onto the crossbar very early in overtime on a shot heading into the net. It was tightly contested defensive affair for the first 70 minutes before the Tigers came alive late.
“Once we had the confidence that we need to have in the game, the nerves dropped and we played well,” Tigers coach Phil Bergen said. “We tried to play a little too fast at times, but we outran them and it seemed it was only going to be a matter of time.”
THE FCIAC REGIONAL
After knocking off Bridgeport Central in the first round and Staples on Wednesday, Ridgefield will face yet another conference opponent in Norwalk on Friday in the quarterfinals at home. The Bears knocked off Fairfield Warde in the second round while Staples beat Stamford in the first round to make it to Ridgefield.
“We gave it our best shot and Ridgefield gave it their best shot,” Staples coach Dan Woog said. “That’s what happens when you get the FCIAC teams duking it out all year, having to meet in the early rounds. We certainly hope Ridgefield goes all the way.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Chris Martenson, Staples: The senior defender was stellar in his final game for the Wreckers, clearing the ball nearly every time it was sent into his half.
“It was a worthy second-round game but it’s a shame that it didn’t come later in the tournament,” Woog said. “I couldn’t be more proud of our team; we only had eight seniors and they gave it their all as they always do. They’re holding their heads high.”
RIDGEFIELD 1, STAPLES 0 (2OT)
STAPLES0 0 0 0 — 0
RIDGEFIELD0 0 0 1 — 0
Records: Staples 9-5-4, Ridgefield 14-3-1. Goals: R—Scooter Glass. Assists: R—Michael Grevers. Goalies: S—Ry Cohen (3 saves); R—Ray Dearth (4 saves).