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Staples boys soccer and Warde play to scoreless tie

Varsity vs Staples HS on 10/15/2011 4:00:00 PM
Posted Tuesday, October 18, 2011 by William Petroccio
 For almost seven years, the Fairfield Warde boys soccer team came away empty handed in each contest against Staples.

On Saturday, the Mustangs finally broke a lengthy losing streak, as they ground out a 0-0 draw at Staples' Albie Loeffler Field to record their first point against the Wreckers since 2004.

"I'm proud of the effort that was put in today," said Warde coach Justin Ottavio. "It's paralleling what has happened all season with Warde--it's all about heart. We're going to get the job done."

The scoreline belied Staples' dominance of possession and frequent forays into the Warde penalty box. From the outset, the home team pressured Warde goalkeeperDavid DiSilvestro, as Staples defender Harry Birch's header brushed the far post off a corner from Alexander Tonigsberg.

"We do create a lot and we do possess a lot," said Staples coach Dan Woog. "We have had and will continue to have a lot of games like that this year. But we need to scrap in a goal."

Staples' attacking players continued to drive in crosses and pepper shots at DiSilvestro. Midfielder Dylan Evanstested DiSilvestro with a long-range shot from the left wing, while Tonigsberg later launched a shot from the edge of the penalty box that flashed over the crossbar.

In contrast, Warde struggled to establish consistent service to its forwards Brian Luchsingerand Alex Landau. The Mustangs' best opportunity in the first half came when Luchsinger collected the ball just outside the Staples penalty box and spotted the Wreckers' keeper, James Hickok, off his line. His shot flew a few inches over the bar.

In the second half, Staples increased their pressure on the Warde backline. Midfielders Max Hoberman and Lorenz Esposito, in particular, troubled the Mustangs' defense with a series of mazy runs into the penalty box.

Thirteen minutes into the second half, Esposito took a pass from Evans on the right side of the penalty area, cut inside, and lashed a shot that skimmed past the left post.

A few minutes later, the Wreckers went even closer. From his own half, Birch dissected the Warde defense with a searing pass that found Hoberman about twenty yards away on the right side of the field. Hoberman then surged into the penalty area and ripped a near-post shot that DiSilvestro could only parry. The ball trickled toward the goal line until the Warde keeper gathered the ball.

At the other end, Warde created mostly half-chances that did not seriously challenge Hickok. The Mustangs best chance in the second half arrived with about six minutes left when Ben Scheller's high cross found Stuart Peters at the far post. Peters' header was firmly stopped by Hickok.

The home team responded in the final minutes by pouring players into the Warde penalty box. Anchored by co-captain, Sal Siciliano, the Mustangs' defense withstood the pressure.

The draw moves Warde's record to 6-3-3, while Staples' record now stands at 7-1-3.

"We obviously respect them for what they have done in the past," Siciliano said. "But we knew that if we stuck with it and stayed mentally focused that we could get a tie."

For Staples, the score was indicative of the team's predominant challenge during recent games.

"I'm not disappointed at all, but I think it all comes down to finishing," Esposito said. "I think that our team's issue right now is that we just need to start putting the balls in the back of the net."

The result, however, will likely be better remembered by the visitors.

"Staples is a phenomenal program, and a draw is something that has eluded us for the last seven years," Ottavio added. "We have a never-give-up attitude. As a result of our efforts, positive things will come."

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