In what was correctly billed as the biggest game to date for the Staples boys soccer team, the Wreckers went into Tiger Hollow at Ridgefield on Friday before a large and vocal crowd and came out with a 2-0 victory. Staples controlled the game and crowd from the start, raising its record to 11-1, 11-0 in the FCIAC. Ridgefield started off the evening in second place before dropping to 9-2.

Tiger Hollow can be intimidating to any visiting team and adding to the pressure, the Wreckers came in without senior captain Alan Reiter, who was on a college visit. Starting in his place was senior Matteo Marzoli who stepped up big time for his team.

The game started off in an open and freewheeling way with Staples clearly taking it to the Tigers. Senior captain Jack Hennessy stopped a quick Ridgefield advance and seconds later, senior captain Mike White had his first shot on goal, in what would turn out to be a great evening of soccer for him. Right after that, another White shot soared over the Tiger goal and Wreckers had established a strong control of the game. At about the 35 minute mark, Marzoli fed a lead pass to a streaking Mikey Scott. The speedy junior evaded the Tiger defense and crisply booted in the first goal of the night, moving the large and vocal Staples fans to their feet.

Hennessy and juniors Frankie Bergonzi and Sean Gallagher provided rock-solid defense all night long aided by senior captain Andrew McNair falling back from his forward position. Junior stalwarts Greg Gudis and Brendan Lesch controlled the mid-ield area, never giving the fast and shifty Tigers a chance to set up a solid charge. The rest of the first half was mostly played in the Ridgefield half of the field with the Wreckers putting up relentless pressure and precise passing throughout. One Wrecker who had a great game was junior defender Jake Krosse, with his sharp passing and strong tackling.

The second half started with the Tigers coming out in a more aggressive style. Early in the half, Ridgefield tried to put pressure on the Wreckers but were continually thwarted by the Staples defense and midfield.

One of the many talents this Wrecker team has is their ability to break up the passing and advances of the opponents by heading the ball. This was an additional frustration to the Tiger players.

White took control in front of the Tiger goal with his penetrating movement and excellent passing. He seemed to be everywhere, feeding his teammates and managing the play. With about 20 minutes left, he fed Gudis, whose header went just wide of the Tiger goal.

Seconds later, Lesch on another pass from White, rammed a shot right into the goalie's hands. The Tigers' best chance at a score came with 18 minutes left when Ridgefield star, Conar McCarthy's cross was nullified by a teammate's handball in front of the Wrecker goal.

Staples' second goal game with four minutes left, and a speeding Krosse penetrated the Tiger defense and banged one at the goalie. The ball careened off Tiger player Jake Kirsch and into his own goal for the Staples score. Krosse was credited with the goal.

For the game, Staples outshot Ridgefield, 12-10 and had an 8-0 corner kicks advantage. Lesch was cited by the team for his excellent play on both sides of the ball.

Coach Dan Woog called this "a huge win" for his team, especially after the tough matches they had to play this week.

"This game was Staples soccer at its best," said Woog. "Great play like this doesn't just happen."

Woog pointed out that his boys took control of the game from the first whistle. As always, he continues to remind his team that there will be a lot of hard and challenging soccer matches that the Wreckers will face.