In Home-opener, Staples overcomes deficit to defeat Trumbull 3-1

 

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Staples Varsity Girls Soccer faced their first serious competition at their home field Friday afternoon. From the first whistle it was clear that this was going to be a hotly contested match.  Girls were faster, coverages were tighter, ball control was better than anything Staples had faced in their pre-season.  But from the opening whistle, Staples solid mid-field anchored by seniors Maggie Walsh and Chloe Rosenfield flanked by sophomores Tia Zajek and Lydia Shaw controlled the ball and kept most of the pressure on the Trumbull defense.  Early shots came from strikers senior captain Lauren Garcia and sophomore Charlotte Rossi but missed their mark as the Trumbull defense gave them little room for maneuver.  After 20 minutes Shaw received a long ball and beat two defenders to create a strong scoring chance.  She unselfishly fed the ball to Zajek running in from the other side. The strong shot went high.  The Wreckers defense was strong and even helped on the attack as junior captain outside defender Kate Lesch fed Garcia a ball that also missed high.

Toward the end of the half, possession became more 50-50 and the defense anchored by senior captain Megan Root and freshman Sally McGee in the middle were kept busy.  They worked with senior keeper Mary Bennewitz to turn away many attacks, often with a pass back to Bennewitz who cleared the ball.  Fortunes changed quickly when a loose ball in the Staples defensive end led to a mystery free-kick for Trumbull.  A well-struck centering ball bounced to the foot of their attacker and was finished into the upper right corner for a “no-doubter” 1-0 lead for Trumbull at the 32nd minute.    Staples responded with more pressure on the Trumbull goal, but couldn’t convert.

The starting 11 returned for the second half.  This time their efforts bore immediate fruits.  Tia Zajec brought the ball down the left side, beat the Trumbull defense and centered the ball.  Garcia’s shot was challenged, but deflected to Shaw who finished low right to tie the game.  Goals follow goals, and five minutes later the attack came through the center of the field as Walsh, Rosenfield, and Shaw linked up passes that gave Shaw an open shot inside the 18.  A top-right shot gave Westport a much celebrated 2-1 lead.

Trumbull countered with some energy.  Freshman Annie Amaker was kept busy with the rest of the defense using speed and tight coverage to keep the Eagles from equalizing.  The Wreckers added some much needed insurance when Garcia’s hard-work winning and possessing the ball earned a free kick deep in Trumbull’s end.  Garcia’s free kick deflected to captain Walsh who finished low and hard.  3-1 Staples and the sideline was buzzing with questions about when the last time was Staples defeated a full Trumbull squad.  Apparently, a long time.

Attrition began to set in on the cramping muscles of the hard-working Wreckers as Zajec, Garcia, and Shaw all had to be taken off the field with leg cramps.  But Staples deep bench that had lots of play in the pre-season filled in admirably.  Senior Addy Fowle helped out on both offense and defense.  Speedy sophomore Ivy Prince went to work on the wing.  Junior Brynly Marsh and sophomore Eve Korus also had some valuable minutes challenging and controlling the ball and giving the tired starters a valuable breather.  Trumbull had few serious chances to narrow the gap and the buzzer sounded to signal this first serious question of the team was answered.

Coach Beattie was satisfied with the day’s action: “I thought we dominated the game throughout but gave up a fairly easy goal. I trusted the players that we would get the result and as soon as the first went in it was only a matter of time before the rest followed. It was a solid performance all round.”

Next week is a busy week for the girls hosting McMahon, New Canaan (historically the most challenging), and Stamford at Loeffler field Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  Keep eating those bananas and drinking those water girls — should be a fun week of soccer for all.  Come on out and cheer on our Wreckers!!

 

JV wins season Opener 8-2

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Staples opens official season with easy win against Trinity Catholic

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2014 Staples Lady Wreckers

The 2014 Lady Wreckers are 1 – 0 after a 10 – 0 win against Trinity Catholic.  From the opening kickoff, the Wreckers put pressure on the Trinity defense line and goalie. Senior Captain Lauren Garcia started off the scoring when Sophomore Tia Zajec advanced the ball up the right side and delivered a good cross into the box. Garcia’s one touch shot put the Wreckers up 1-0 in the 3rd minute.  Two minutes later Senior Chloe Rosenfield scored the second goal after taking a pass from Garcia and used her left foot to find the net.  Staples starting defensive line of Senior Captain Megan Root, Junior Captain Kate Lesh, Freshman Anne Amacker and Freshman Sally McGee kept Trinity Catholic from advancing any ball past the midfield. Goalie Mary Benewitz didn’t face a shot on goal the entire first half. She did clear a few ball on her 18 and the defense used her to work the ball out of the back to start the attack. In the 15th minute, Sophomore Charlotte Rossi made it 3-0 off her right foot after taking a pass from Garcia and finding the lower right corner.  Garcia picked her

Senior Capt Maggie Walsh

Senior Capt Maggie Walsh

second of four goals on the day the same way she scored the first. Zajec again crossed the ball into the box finding Garcia who deflected it to the near post putting the Wreckers up 4-0. On the kickoff, Junior Lydia Shaw picked up a loose ball near midfield and dribbled thru the defense, but her shot floated over the goal. Garcia netted her 3rd goal of the half when the ensuing goal kick was booted around the box. Garcia completed her first half hat trick with firm shot to the upper corner making it 5-0 lead in the 20th minute.  Head Coach Barry Beattie subbed out a few of his starters and inserted Junior Addy Fowle and Sophomores Eve Korus and Ivy Prince in the mid field. He also inserted Juniors Anne Gau and Emma Finn on defense.  Junior Brynly Marsh took over at forward to complete the substitutions for the half.  Fowle joined the scoring shortly after being subbed when Zajec  (now playing on the left side) crossed the ball to Fowle who made strong run up the middle making it 6-0.  Senior Captain Maggie Walsh made it 7-0 minutes later when she beat the Trinity midfield up the middle and then maneuvered thru the defense.  The Trinity goalie had very little chance of stopping the bullet to the lower corner. Marsh ended the first half scoring when she stole the ball at the Trinity 18 and calmly beat the goalie to the upper right corner of the net.

Junior Cap Kate Lesch

Junior Cap Kate Lesch

With Staples leading 8-0 at half, Coach Beattie ordered his troops to pass more and possess the ball in the second half.  After Staples gained control of the second half kickoff and strung together a series of passes that included using the defense, Senior Captain Megan Root brought the ball up and found Garcia in the middle. Garcia deflected the pass from Root off the right post and into the net making it a 9-0 lead.   Again Coach Beattie sat his starters early in the half.  This gave him the opportunity to play Junior Alyssa Perry, who was recently added to the roster.  With two of his starters from last year, Junior Elizabeth Mitas and Sophomore Morgan McWhirter, still on the mend, Staples needed additional help on the d-line.  In addition to giving minutes to his up and coming players, Beattie played Freshman Anna Sivinski the entire second half. He feels he has found his goalie of the future in the young aggressive goalie.

Staples ended the scoring midway thru the second half, when Lydia Shaw was the recipient of string of passes that ended when Junior Capt. Kate Lesch crossed the ball into the box.  Shaw waited at the far post and finished well passed the goalie to make it a 10-0 lead.  The game ended with Staples linking passes and controlling the ball from one side of the field to the other and showed that it has a strong starting line-up and a solid bench capable of controlling play.

The real test comes Friday when the Lady Wrecker will face perennial power Trumbull in their home opener at 4pm.  See you at Leoffler Field on Friday.