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Staples boys soccer defeats Warde 4-1

Published 11:00 pm, Friday, October 18, 2013
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Staples High School's boys soccer team put together an impressive game -- start to finish -- en route to a 4-1 victory over visiting Fairfield Warde on Thursday. The Wreckers continuously sent long crosses into the 18-yard box and pressured the Mustangs on their way to improving to 10-2-2 overall. Warde put forth plenty of hustle but dropped to 6-5-4.

The win was a good one for a Staples team looking to earn one of the top few spots in the upcoming FCIAC Tournament. It was a tough loss for the Mustangs, who are contending for a seventh or eighth seed in the conference playoffs.

Jack Scott scored twice to lead the Wreckers, who netted two goals in both halves. Scott got things started with a net-finder only 3:31 into the game and later scored his team's third goal. Joe Pravder put in a rebound to make it 2-0 midway through the opening half.

A free kick by Yousef Shahin set up Scott's second tally. Shahin booted the ball from 30-plus yards out on the right side, and Scott got a head on it to send it off Warde goalkeeper Michael Lerman and across the goal line for a 3-0 cushion with 20:21 to play in the contest.

The Mustangs broke up the shutout when Kieran O'Day headed a bouncing ball sent into the box on a Michael Foley throw-in with 2:52 remaining.

Staples answered when Steven Sobel blasted a shot off the far post and in with just 51 seconds left. Graham Gudis earned an assist on the play.

Staples Coach Dan Woog was pleased that his group put forth a strong effort each half. The Wreckers had struggled to pu teams away early in the year but have done a better job of that in recent games.

"I like the fact that we had a strong second half. I like the fact we were winning 50-50 balls, we were finding feet, and we were playing smart soccer," Woog said.

The Staples coach was also happy about how his team stepped up with a few key team members out of the lineup. Center back Andrew Puchala and starting goalkeeper Noah Schwaeber were out with injuries, and midfielder Michael Reid was limited to just a half of soccer while nursing an injury.

Staples starting goalkeeper Brenden Price made nine saves, and freshman Ziggy Hallgarten saw his first varsity action and came up with one stop. Lerman came up with four stops, including some amidst heavy traffic down low.

"I think, overall, they capitalized on their opportunities and, unfortunately, we didn't capitalize on as many as they did," Warde Coach Justin Ottavio said. "Our hustle, our determination, our spirit, our pride, and our will were all there and evident.

"They capitalized on our breakdowns," Ottavio said.

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