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Staples Soccer Survives in Overtime

WESTPORT, Conn. – Max Hoberman’s goal with 7:45 left in the second overtime gave Staples a 1-0 victory over Manchester in the first round of the Class LL soccer tournament Friday in Westport. Staples advances to meet the No. 6 Farmington boys team Monday at 2 p.m. in Farmington.

Hoberman converted a beautiful cross by Steve Smith in a game where the Wreckers dominated but could not cash in their opportunities. A blast by Jake Malowitz late in the first half caromed off the crossbar, and Max Hoberman, Smith and Alex Tonsberg had good scoring chances in the second half.

While frustrated on offense, the defense played its usual steady game. Goalkeeper James Hickok (two saves) stood firm behind a backline that included Malowitz, Taylor McNair, Tonsberg, Ben Root, Harry Birch and Aaron Liu.

“This is what state tournament play is all about,’’ coach Dan Woog told his team afterwards. “There’s do-or-die pressure.  You win, or you turn in your uniforms. It doesn’t matter who’s the hero, or where the goal comes from. Just give it your best, trust in each other, and get it done.”

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