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Staples Soccer Slips Past Ludlowe

WESTPORT, Conn. – Staples' soccer team has played 10 games already this season that have been one-goal or tie games. The Wreckers got locked into another tight one on Monday and this time came out ahead.

Harry Birch’s header in the 62nd minute gave Staples a 1-0 victory over Fairfield Ludlowe in the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference game. The goal ended a frustrating 248-minute scoreless streak for Staples, which had a tie and a loss in its previous two games.

“Grinding out 1-0 wins is fine,” coach Dan Woog said. “It’s not easy on the coaches, the players or even the fans, but it gets to be fun. We’ve got confidence in our defense, confidence we can win games like this and confidence in each other.”

On the game-winning goal, Jay Kaplan’s hustle created a corner kick that Dylan Evans launched into the box. Birch got his head on it and put it in the net. Staples carried play thereafter, but goalkeeper James Hickok needed to come up with two big saves in the final two minutes to nail down the win.

Staples (8-1-3) is in fourth place in the playoff race. The Wreckers have two more critical games this week. On Wednesday, they travel to Westhill, which is unbeaten in its last eight games. On Friday, Staples visits New Canaan, the defending champions. Staples trails Norwalk (10-1-1), Darien (9-2-2) and Trumbull (9-1-2) in the FCIAC playoff race. New Canaan (7-1-4) is currently in fifth.

After this week, just two more league games remain before the league and state playoffs.

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