Danbury Boys Soccer finish successful season after Covid riddled year

Dylan Rosenkrantz, Staff Writer

The Danbury boys soccer team finished the regular season ranked 7th in the FCIAC and 20th in Class LL.

The Hatters came into the season expecting a successful season. Last year they had a disappointing 2-2-3 record, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic as their season was cut short and finished 9th in the FCIAC and 22nd in the Class LL. Prior to the COVID year,  they had a 12-3-3 record finishing 2nd in FCIAC standings and 9th in Class LL standings. 

The season started on a high note with a 1-0 win over New Canaan at home. While the game may have seemed close by the score, Danbury should have won this game by more. Danbury had many chances in the game that they just couldn’t put away, but they got the job done with the win and a clean sheet. Game 2 was a more disappointing result: a scoreless draw at Trumbull. Getting any result that isn’t a loss on the road is always good but Trumbull finished at 11th in the FCIAC standings and 25th with a 5-7-4 record, this was a game Danbury should have been able to win convincingly but couldn’t find the back of the net. 

Senior Tyler Le agreed: “Our biggest weakness is finishing our chances.” Danbury’s defense was steller and if they could be more consistent on the attack, the score would have looked much better.

Game 3 was a bounce back 3-0 win at home over Stamford. The Hatters were on point this game, finishing their chances and playing great defense. This performance was followed up with another scoreless draw at Staples. A draw here was a good result, as Staples was ahead of Danbury in the standings. The issue here, and one that will be noted again, is that Danbury had yet to score a goal in an away game. Without their defense keeping 4 straight clean sheets to start the season, their record could’ve looked a lot different. Danbury needed some momentum, and the game against St. Joseph’s provided just that. A 5-1 win at home was huge for this squad, and even though St. Joseph’s hasn’t been great this season, sitting at 15th in the FCIAC standings, a win is still a win. 

Unfortunately, the momentum didn’t carry over into the next two games. The next game was at home against Warde, both schools were undefeated, but Warde got the better of Danbury with a 2-0 win. Danbury’s defense was finally broken through, and it was the first time they trailed all season. The issues with goal scoring continued from this game into the next with another scoreless outing in a 1-0 loss to Wilton on the road. This was a tough loss as WIlton sat one spot behind Danbury going into the game, and are now ahead of them. In a game against a team that is close to you in the standings, a loss is tough, especially a loss where you couldn’t find a goal. 

According to Le, they need to “take practice more serious and games too.” 

The next 2 games for Danbury were big bright spots though, they walked away with  impressive draws at Norwalk and Darien. They also tied against Darien 0-0, Darien are one of the best teams in FCIAC, sitting in 2nd on the standings and 6th in the FCIAC and Class LL standings. 

Junior Andrew Chapleau said these results were “important for the team’s chances at making states.”

After those impressive draws, Danbury followed it up with a tough draw and a bad loss. McMahon was their first opponent, a road game against a team just below them in the FCIAC standings and Danbury walked away with a good result. Everyone wants to win, but a 1-1 draw in a game like that is always a good result. Unfortunately, Danbury followed it up with their worst loss of the season. Danbury got dominated away against Greenwich and lost 4-1. This was the low for Danbury’s season as they had won 0, tied 3, and lost 3 of their last 6 games.They needed to turn it around fast because their season was in jeopardy, and they did just that. 

Danbury needed a spark of momentum to keep playoff hopes alive, and back to back wins did just that. A 1-0 home win against Bridgeport Central and a 4-1 home win vs Westhill ensured Danbury’s chances at states. Bridgeport Central did finish second to last in the FCIAC and Class LL standings with a 0-15 record, but at this point in the season, winning was most important. Then following that up with a dominating win over a solid Westhill team that finished 9th was the most important win of the season.at. 

Now to the last 2 games of the season, Danbury scored and draw on Senior Night against Ludlowe. This result was disappointing for the team because you always want to win on senior night, but especially when it is against one of the worst teams in the conference in Ludlowe. They finished with a 3-10-2 record, and placed 13th in the FCIAC and 33rd Class LL standings. The last game for Danbury was a 1-0 loss in Ridgefield. Ridgefield is one of the best teams in the conference, finishing 6th in FCIAC and 10th in the Class LL standings with a 9-2-4 record. Danbury played a good game but just couldn’t find a goal to equalize and ended up losing.

Danbury’s season was an up and down roller coaster, from impressive wins to disappointing losses and from impressive ties to disappointing ties. Their standout player was captain and senior Ben Tomas, he scored or assisted in almost every game and was one of the main reasons Danbury has gone as far as they have. At the end of the day though, the Hatters qualified for states and anything can happen.

They will play Newtown tonight in the first round of the Class LL State tournament.