Trumbull, Staples boys soccer teams renew rivalry

Trumbull's Tiago Frazao heads home the Eagles' second goal in their 2-2 draw with Staples.

Trumbull's Tiago Frazao heads home the Eagles' second goal in their 2-2 draw with Staples.

Christian Abraham / Hearst Connecticut Media

Historically, when Trumbull and Staples play you can expect an all-out effort, and Tuesday night’s 2-2 tie brought praise from both coaches.

“This was typical of a Staples-Trumbull game,” Trumbull coach Sil Vitiello said. “Quite frankly, I wasn’t expecting to jump out 2-0 on them. But, even at 2-0 that team isn’t going to give up. We get a bad bounce on their equalizer and that’s a 2-2 game. That’s a fair result. I thought both teams deserved to walk away with a point.”

Said Staples coach Dan Woog: “Trumbull has a way of imposing their will on us when we play. They do that very well against us. We told the guys, ‘There are two ways to tie, you can tie by losing a lead or by coming back.’ If we are going to get one point, this is the way I like to tie particularly coming back from two down.”

Trumbull took a firm hold on the lead with a strong performance in the first 25 minutes.

The Eagles’ Justin Horvath was knocked off the ball on a run through the middle, but Tiago Frazao was there to take possession and pass it to Matt Bagley, who pushed it home for a 1-0 lead at 34:55 of the first half.

Staples’ Evan Birns had a chance to score off a corner from Sam Liles, but Trumbull keeper Nic Grassi made a sliding stop on the pass at Birns’ feet in the 27th minute.

Frazao’s header off a fine feed from Matheus Martins at the far post got past the Wreckers’ Reed Caney, who had no chance to redirect. Trumbull led 2-0 with 13:18 left to play in the first half.

“I liked our start, our intensity level,” said Vitiello, whose Eagles are 1-1-2 on the season with a win and a tie in their last two outings. “We took advantage of two good chances, and finishing is what we needed to do.

“You want to press for that third goal. Instead, Staples pulled that goal back.”

Patricio Perez Elorza scored for the Wreckers, off an assist from George Smith, in the 29th minute.

“It took us a while to turn the switch on,” said Woog, whose Wreckers are now 3-1-1 on the season. “It shouldn’t have to be that way.”

Staples’ Murilo Moreno and the Eagles’ Martins sparked their teams in the second half, but it was the Wreckers who found the back of the net.

Birns got the ball on a breakaway and the quick-footed senior made a paralyzing move to create space and scored unassisted in the 54th minute.

“Evan is a former academy player and really lifts us up,” Woog said. “He is always smiling, having a good time. It was a really, really nice finish.”

The final 27 minutes saw end-to-end action, plenty of effort, but no real good opportunity to snap the deadlock.

“Knowing the team on the other side (Staples), you can take this result,” Vitiello said. “They’ve set the standard for a long time.”


“In the handshake, Tom Henske, their assistant coach said something along the lines, ‘Man you guys,’ and I said, ‘What else is old.’”


Scoring: S — Goals: Patricio Perez Elorza, Evan Birns. Assists: George Smith. T — Goals: Matt Bagley, Tiago Frazao. Assists: Frazao, Matheus Martins. Saves: T — Nic Grassi (5 saves); S — Reed Caney (2 saves) Records: S 3-1-1; T 1-1-2