Staples coach Dan Woog has been around the Staples boys soccer program in one form or another since his playing days in the early 1970s.
He has never been a part of a game quite like the one Wednesday, as No. 18 Staples rallied from down two goals to beat No. 1 Glastonbury 3-2 in the CIAC Class LL Second Round.
“It was astonishing. I have never been involved in a game like this,” Woog said. “We talked before the game about sitting back and hoping for a 1-0 game or pressing forward and being more aggressive. The boys decided they wanted to press an go after them. After the game one of my players was walking off the field and said to me ‘what just happened?'”
Staples will face No. 8 Trumbull in the quarterfinals, Friday at Trumbull.
For some perspective, the last goal allowed by the Glastonbury boys soccer team came in the Second Round of the 2016 Class LL tournament.
Glastonbury has won back-to-back state championships and five titles in the last six years.
They are a machine in boys soccer.
So, when the Tomahawks went up 2-0 in the first half against No. 17 Staples, the game seemed in hand.
Staples finally snapped the 10-game scoring drought against Glastonbury in state tournament play with 3:00 remaining in the first half.
Alan Fiore fired a shot from the corner of the box to the far post, cutting the lead to 2-1 at the half.
With 6:55 to play, Staples got the equalizer by Lars Djuve.
Then came the shot which sent shock waves through the Connecticut high school soccer world.
With 3:41 left, Evan Birns took on three players, blasting a shot from outside the box, looping it over the head of the Glastonbury keeper, giving Staples a 3-2 lead.
The Wreckers won without starting keeper Reed Caney, who received a red card for touching the ball with his hands outside the box in the team’s First Round win over Wilbur Cross.
Sebastian Montoulieu manned the net for Staples in this game, making several huge saves, including a diving stop in the second half with his team still down a goal.
“Sebi did a fantastic job,” Woog said. “He cut down angles and made some spectacular saves to keep us in the game and allow us to come back.”