WESTPORT, Conn. – Even though Staples’ boys soccer team struck for two quick goals in the first 14 minutes of Monday’s game against New Canaan, the Wreckers had to settle for a 2-2 tie. But more important, they locked up a berth in the league tournament.
The Wreckers (9-4-2) entered Monday’s game seeded seventh, one point behind the Rams (9-3-3). A win would have catapulted Staples ahead of New Canaan, but Staples needed to get back to the tournament.
“We’re happy to be there,’’ coach Dan Woog said. “The defending champion is not even in the playoffs. We’ve been in it for a number of years. We’re in it to win it. That’s always our goal. We’re not just happy to be there. We want to go on and win the state championship.”
Jordan McNair and Noah Bender scored for the Wreckers, who seem to be peaking at the right time. They are 6-1-2 in their last nine games, and Bender has been on fire. He has scored eight goals in the last five games.
Staples had several great opportunities in the second half but couldn’t stretch its one-goal lead. “We had our opportunities to put it away and we didn’t,’’ Woog said. “We’re generating chances, which is great. We’re not finishing, which is not so great.”
The game marked the last regular season home game for Staples’ seniors. The Wreckers finish the regular season Wednesday against Danbury and then try to win their 28th league championship. The league playoffs start Friday.
“We have enough talent to make a run,’’ Bender said. “We just have to avoid making the mental mistakes. We think we can beat any team in the league.”