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Second half explosion propels Lady Wreckers

Published 1:08 pm, Tuesday, September 28, 2010

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  • Staples' Jesse Ambrose makes a save during Tuesday's game against Brien McMahon High School at Staples High School in Fairfield September 21, 2010. Photo: Lindsay Niegelberg / Connecticut Post
    Staples' Jesse Ambrose makes a save during Tuesday's game against Brien McMahon High School at Staples High School in Fairfield September 21, 2010. Photo: Lindsay Niegelberg

 

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Once the Staples girls soccer team's offense got going on Tuesday, it became unstoppable. After being mired in a 0-0 tie at the half with Brien McMahon, host Staples exploded for five goals in the second half and raised its record to 1-0-2 with a 5-0 victory over McMahon (1-2).

"We finally got the ball in the back of the net," Lady Wreckers Coach Nikki Ross said. "Once we got the first goal, we were able to pick it up."

Junior Abby Fagan ran through a cross and knocked the ball in to give Staples a 1-0 lead with 38:14 remaining in the game.

"We worked hard on finishing in practice and once we got the first goal, we got going," Lady Wreckers senior tri-captain Shannon Moss.

Staples controlled the ball for most of the first half but wasn't able to finish. Senior Nikki Brill had three shots for the Lady Wreckers in the first half but Lady Senator senior defenders Tori Martinez and Christina Anzalone broke up many plays and stymied Staples on many occasions. McMahon junior goalie Sabrina Echeverry (nine saves) also robbed juniors Abby Lake and Ali Crofts.

"We knew what we had to do and made beautiful crosses but we weren't able to score," Lady Wreckers senior tri-captain Kelly Bohling said.

Senior tri-captain Jaclyn Katz said, "They had fast defenders with good technical skills. We just kept the pressure on them."

Speedy sophomore Shamique Samuels gave the Lady Senators a chance by blazing towards the goal but was stopped by Lady Wrecker junior goalie Jessie Ambrose (five saves). Bohling, sophomore Siri Andrews, senior Lauren Kratky and junior Shannon Lesch also neutralized Samuels and caught up to her before she could inflict any damage on Staples.

Knowing how unpredictable soccer could be, the Lady Wreckers knew they could easily fall behind despite controlling the game, which affected their mindset going into the second half.

"We were scared being tied 0-0 because they could get a goal on a breakaway," Moss said. "We knew we had to score a few goals."

Bohling said, "Once we scored, we knew we were unstoppable and played with the mentality that no one can stop us."

Less than 10 minutes later, Lake took advantage of the chaos in the box and scored to extend the lead to 2-0 with 29:22 left. Katz and Moss made it 3-0 and 4-0 respectively with 14:30 and 2:02 to go by both beating defenders and kicking it home.

"We've been in a scoring rut the first two games of the season but once we got one in, we had momentum and the streak continued," Katz said. "We created opportunities and moved the ball well and we were eventually able to find the net."

Moss said, "We gained so much momentum when we scored."

Brill won many 50-50 balls in the midfield, which set up Staples' offense and transition game. Fagan and Crofts also controlled the midfield.

Fagan and Lake led the attack with five shots each. Katz and Brill had three shots apiece. The Lady Wreckers outshot McMahon, 24-5 and had a 4-2 advantage in corner kicks.

With 2:02 left, junior Adele Mackey extended the lead to 5-0 with Brill getting the assist off a through ball.

"Everyone did their part and our midfield and our outside midfielders came back and helped out," Bohling said.

Katz said, "Everyone contributed and not just the forwards."

Staples feels a sense of relief.

Ross said, "It was nice to get a win after two ties in the first two games. It was frustrating not getting the win but we knew we could put it together."