Staples' Greg Gudis said he and senior teammate Mikey Scott have developed a connection since they've been playing soccer together with the Wreckers. "Even back to when we were 9 and 10 years old,'' Gudis said.
The connection came in handy at an opportune time Thursday. Gudis blasted Scott's throw-in into the Guilford goal to give the No. 5 Wreckers (18-2-1) a hard-fought 2-1 overtime win over the 12th-seeded Indians in the second round of the Class LL tournament at Loeffler Field. The victory sends the defending champions to Monday's quarterfinals against Simsbury. Game time is 2 p.m. at Staples.
"Normally I throw in and see who wants to take it,'' Scott said. "Just before the play Greg came to me and said this one's going in. We work hard on those as a team."
Scott, a Wreckers' weapon with throw-ins, lofted the ball toward the middle of the field. Gudis got off a clean shot that easily beat Guilford keeper Thomas Barcewicz with 3:05 left in the first overtime. "I was just in the right place at the right time,'' Gudis said.
The contest was wonderfully played throughout. Staples scored on an own goal after a corner kick by Steve Smith with 15:58 left in the game. Guilford tied it with 11:37 remaining on a goal by James Carroll. Staples had more scoring opportunities, and missed a golden chance in the first half. Lorenz Esposito was dragged down in the box with four minutes remaining, and Gudis took the penalty kick. He fired high over the goal. "I've never missed a penalty kick,'' said Gudis, who left the game late in the second overtime with a sprained ankle. "I don't know what happened. I'm glad my teammates stuck with me."
Staples' sophomore goalie James Hickok played solid in goal, stopping six shots, including two from close range in the first half.
"It was just a great team effort,'' Scott said. "These are the games you have to win if you want to win the championship."
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