Staples, Ridgefield battle to scoreless draw
Updated 7:54 pm, Tuesday, September 20, 2016
WESTPORT—Most of the traffic in the matchup between the Staples and Ridgefield boys soccer teams took placed in the region of Tigers goalie John Buczek.
Though the Wreckers found themselves in the 18-yard box on a countless number of occasions, they were unable to finish and walked off the field disappointed not to come away with all three points.
Both teams picked up a point in the FCIAC standings behind a 0-0 draw at Loeffler Field on Tuesday. Buczek finished the match with seven saves for the Tigers.
“He’s a terrific keeper,” Ridgefield coach Phil Bergen said. “He’s worked hard in the offseason, he’s come up the ranks and he saved the day several times. He has good instincts and good technical ability.”
Staples controlled most of the first half without creating many significant inroads, but that changed immediately once the second 40 minutes began. The Wreckers fired over the crossbar to begin the second half and had multiple chances to beat Buczek soon after.
“We had plenty of chances to get that one (goal),” Wreckers coach Dan Woog said. “Plenty of great opportunities but we were not composed in the box. It’s not easy, but that’s what you got to do.”
The Wreckers also had a 7-0 edge in corner kicks, signaling where the ball was for most of the match. Buczek had to be at his best to claim the ball from Staples forward Spencer Daniels, who worked his way into a one-on-one opportunity in the final moments of the match.
“It was a bit of a sloppy game on both sides,” Bergen said. “We surely didn’t play our best game, so we’re happy to come away with a 0-0 tie. Staples is a good team and could have scored a few times.”
The Tigers had one chance to snatch all three points with five minutes remaining behind one of their two shots on goal in the game, but a Ridgefield forward fired a shot straight at Staples goalie Ziggy Hallgarten.
There was still a chance at the other end, though, but Staples had a shot go just over the bar.
“We had good communication especially at the back,” Woog said. “We won balls, we did not panic and that created a lot of the opportunities that we had.”
Both teams left the field with one win from their opening slate of matches; Ridgefield is 1-1-2 while the Wreckers are 1-2-2. Bergen said he was pleased with the way his team — which started just two seniors Tuesday — is developing.
“That’s a better start than we have had the past two years,” Bergen said. “We’re a young team, it’s a team that might have to gain experience quickly if we want to continue down this track.”
RIDGEFIELD 0, STAPLES 0
STAPLES 0 0—0
Records: Ridgefield 1-1-2, Staples 1-2-2. Goalies: R—John Buczek (7 saves); S—Ziggy Halgarten (2 saves). Shots: R—3; S—14.