Danbury edges Staples in boys soccer showdown
WESTPORT—Through 50 minutes of its showdown against Staples Monday, the Danbury boys soccer team showed little, if any, offensive prowess.
The Hatters then came to life and turned around a one-goal deficit into three big points in the FCIAC standings.
Kaike Nascimento converted a cross from teammate Chriss Sari into a goal with 4:52 remaining in the game, sending Danbury to a 2-1, come-from-behind win over Staples in a matchup between FCIAC contenders.
“You can never predict these things,” said Danbury coach Antony Howard. “You just have to keep pressing for an opportunity; credit to Staples because we only had two or three chances the entire game.”
With a host of new starters and playing in its second game of the season, the Hatters—who only had one shot on goal before scoring—took time to get used to the Loeffler Field grass, and one another. By the Danbury (2-0) extended its perfect start to season with a team win.
“We were losing and it was very tight,” Nascimento said. “Our first half was bad; in the second half we were better. I’m still in shock.”
Utilizing its pressure and unmatched fitness, Staples dominated the first half and created a handful of chances. It converted one early as Thomas Nealon slipped a through ball to Spencer Daniels, who gave Staples a 1-0 lead inside 15 minutes.
The Wreckers had chances to add to their advantage, and Stephen Rowland thought he extended the lead to 2-0 with a diving header early in the second half. However the linesman ruled he was offside and disallowed the effort.
“We’re pleased with what we did,” Staples coach Dan Woog said. “(Danbury) nicked a couple on us and we pick it up from here. It was the second game of the season, both teams have a long way to go.
Moments later, Danbury was back on level terms. Staples was unable to clear a ball into the box, and after numerous bounces, an overhead kick by a Danbury player was parried by Wreckers goalie Ziggy Hallgarten—who made a spectacular fingertip save minutes earlier to deny a Danbury effort—into the path of Jason Cordova, who pounced and scored.
After Nascimento’s goal stunned the hosts, Staples controlled the final stages and had one final chance to tie the game in the final seconds. But the ball failed to bounce their way after Danbury failed to clear a free kick.
“Everybody was off the bench,” Howard said. “The excitement and thrill of the game; it was great and everyone is buzzing at the moment.”
If recent history is any indicator, Staples and Danbury will be in the field of eight to compete for a FCIAC title late next month, and will be a difficult out once they get there.
“We’re lucky to come out of here with three points in my opinion,” Howard said. “Staples will be right up there, there’s no question.”
DANBURY 2, STAPLES 1
DANBURY 0 2—2
STAPLES 1 0-—1
Records: Danbury 2-0, Staples 1-1. Goals: D—Jason Cordova, Kaike Nascimento; S—Spencer Daniels. Assists: D—Richard Rodrigues, Chriss Sari; S—Thomas Nealon. Goalies: D—David Mollentheil (3 saves); S—Ziggy Halgarten (4 saves). Shots: D—7; S—11.