Staples boys soccer blanks Warde
The roller-coaster ride the Staples boys soccer team has experienced this season took an upward turn on Monday night as it took on Fairfield Warde.
Facing a virtual must-win situation against fellow playoff hopeful that entered play one point above the Wreckers in the standings, Staples needed to lift its game and deliver a top performance after slumping to a 4-1 defeat against Trumbull Saturday.
A flawless performance is exactly what the Wreckers produced.
Four different players -- including Gabe Pensak 36 seconds into the game -- scored goals, lifting Staples to a 4-0 win over Warde at Tetreau-Davis Field. The win, coupled with wins over McMahon Tuesday and Harding Wednesday, qualified Staples for the FCIAC playoffs. The Wreckers will travel to Danbury Friday, Oct. 24 at 5:30 p.m. in the quarterfinals.
"They came out with passion," Staples coach Dan Woog said of his team. "They got it done in the first 25 seconds; we made some mistakes defensively in the first half, not keeping it on the ground. We talked about it at halftime and in the second half, when Warde put some pressure on they stepped up."
The Wreckers earned a corner kick 30 seconds into the game that was initially cleared by Warde, but Pensak chased the ball down, fired in a shot across the six-yard box that was deflected into the net.
Staples exploded for three goals in the second half to put away the Mustangs. Nate Argosh doubled the lead six minutes into the second half with a close-range shot off a corner kick that deflected in off the crossbar.
"It's great to see," Woog said. "Michael is our engine, he makes us go. He's come close a couple times with moves like that."
Warde still threatened and put pressure on Staples goalie Noah Schwaeber's goal. Schwaeber made six of his seven saves in the second half and the Mustangs tried to get back into the game
"We had some opportunities," Warde coach Justin Ottavio said. "Their goalie made some stellar saves; he was very impressive. (Staples) came out with fire."
Wreckers junior Daniel Brill finished off the win in style, curling a shot from outside the box into the corner of the net.
With the stiffer teams in the back end of the schedule, the Mustangs have dropped three straight and sit on the outside looking in. Warde finished its season Wednesday at Greenwich.
"We've remained positive; we haven't fared as well as we've liked the last couple games," Ottavio said. "Each game is a new opportunity to prove why we were in contention."