STAPLES, Conn. The Staples High boys soccer team had no answer for a relentless Norwalk squad Monday as it fell, 2-0, to the unbeaten Bears.
It seemed like only a matter of time before Norwalk, which dominated Staples in just about every facet of the contest, got on the board. A stellar game in net by James Hickok (six saves) had the Wreckers hoping for a tie, but Norwalks offensive onslaught finally broke through with 13:27 remaining in the game.
Norwalks Santiago Muriel raced up the left side of the field into the box, finding Jose Canahuni. The Norwalk sophomore could have taken a shot, but recognized he did not have the angle and unselfishly sent the ball a few feet to his right for Michal Nowicki.
The Bears senior tapped the shot past Staples' goalkeeper for the games first score and all the offense Norwalk would need.
If theres a better team in the state [than Norwalk], I dont want to see them, Staples head coach Dan Woog said. Theres a reason they're 7-0. Theyre fast, theyre quick, theyre strong and theyre relentless.
Staples was held without a shot in the first half, but had a few chances to knot the game at 1-1 after Nowickis goal. But the Bears defensive backs gave Staples fits all evening, denying the Wreckers any direct shots.
With seven minutes left, Norwalks Nacho Navarro put the game away with a blast into the back-right corner off a deflection in front of the net.
Despite the loss, Woog saw many positives in playing one of the top teams in the state so closely.
This was a huge step up for our guys, Woog said. We played hard a lot of guys for 80 minutes and James showed why I think hes an All-American keeper.
Staples (3-3) will try to bounce back on Friday when it travels to Trumbull High for a 7 p.m. game.
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