Staples’ Brendan Allen is congratulated on his goal Tuesday by teammates, left to right, Adam Syah, Santi Alfageme and Cormac Mulvey. / Photos by Mark Sikorski
Zach Beebe is a stalwart on defense for the Staples boys soccer team, helping the squad finish the regular FCIAC season in first place.

WESTPORT — The Staples boys soccer team has gone from last to first.

Literally.

Last year, a very young Wrecker squad finished 7-9-1. It was their worst record in history, and only the second losing season in the program’s 66 years.

Yesterday, they won a wild match, 4-3 at Westhill in Stamford. The victory — coupled with Greenwich’s 0-0 draw at Fairfield Warde — leapfrogs Staples over the Cardinals into the top spot in the FCIAC league.

The FCIAC playoffs begin Friday. Staples hosts Fairfield Warde at Wakeman Field, at 3:30 p.m. The Wreckers shut out the Mustangs 3-0 in their regular season meeting earlier this year. (Game schedules are subject to change; click for the latest CIAC updates.) 

 Finishing first in the league also earns Staples the Ralph King Cup, awarded in honor of the longtime Brien McMahon coach to the team with the best regular season record. It’s the fifth for the Wreckers since the award was established in 2000.

In the match at Westhill, sophomore Brendan Allen pounced on Emmett Nivaud’s corner kick in the 18th minute, for a 1-0 lead. The Vikings — battling for a berth in the eight-team FCIAC tournament — equalized less than two minutes later.

Two goals by Nivaud – one on a header off Cormac Mulvey’s long throw, the other from close range — and a fourth from Avery Mueller gave Staples a seemingly safe 4-1 halftime lead.

But the hosts clawed one back three minutes after intermission. Then, fighting furiously, they cut the margin to one with 10 minutes to play. 

The Wreckers held on in a frantic final finish, then awaited the results from Fairfield Warde.