A determined Staples girls soccer team exploded on offense Wednesday in a convincing 8-2 home victory over Ridgefield.

Staples raised its record to 3-1 and came out determined to redeem itself from Monday's 4-0 loss at Danbury.

"It definitely feels really good," Lady Wreckers coach Nikki Ross said. "We knew the girls had it in them and they came out and showed it."

This is Staples' first win over Ridgefield (1-1-1) in at least four years, a team Ross felt going in will be a contender for the FCIAC title. The Lady Wreckers outshot the Lady Tigers, 30-6, and showed that anything can happen in soccer because Ridgefield is considered to be a much better team than Danbury.

"It goes to show you that anything can happen, and you have to play the games," Ross said. "The girls have to work hard. Everything is mental and we were more into the game today than we were on Monday."

Staples dominated from the start by winning the majority of the balls and keeping it in the Lady Tigers' territory for the most part. Junior Turner Block pushed the ball into Ridgefield's zone, and freshman Chloe Rosenfield deftly executed her tackles and helped the Lady Wreckers gain possession.

Seniors Abbey Lake and Abby Fagan were especially responsible for Staples' success with the former using her speed to make things happen and the latter by patrolling the midfield, sending balls to the forward, and using her physical presence to win the small battles.

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"They are great leaders," Ross said. "Abbey Lake takes a lot of shots and Abby Fagan is good in the midfield."

Although the Lady Wreckers controlled the whole game, the Lady Tigers struck first. Junior Ellie Gravitte took the ball in the midfield and fired home a straightaway shot from 25 yards out past Staples senior goalie Jessie Ambrose (two saves) with 35:22 remaining in the first half.

"After allowing the first goal in Danbury, we got down on ourselves," Lake said. "When we allowed the first goal today, we had to pretend it didn't happen."

Lake (two goals, three assists) immediately answered when she went down the left wing and juked past the defenders. Once she was in the clear, she slid home a shot with 33:49 left and tied it 1-1.

"I went in from the left side and focused on the goalie," Lake said. "The goalie gave me the near post and I took it."

Lady Wrecker junior Siri Andrews made a difference as well. Andrews won many balls in the midfield and was a force in the defensive end. Classmate Julia Tziolis cleared many balls and prevented many shots from getting near Ambrose.

Overall, Lake took six shots and nearly gave Staples the lead, but Ridgefield senior goalie Nicole Rioseco (15 saves) robbed her. She also robbed freshman Maggie Walsh. If it weren't for Rioseco, who robbed junior Turner Block as well, the score could have easily gotten out of hand.

"After scoring the first goal, we weren't going to let up and we definitely had the momentum," Lake said.

Block (two goals, one assist), who was on fire as well, wasn't going to be denied. Lake set it up with her speed down the left side and sent a touch pass to Block, whose shot sailed in with 15:44 to go and gave the Lady Wreckers a 2-1 lead.

"I saw the opening and I tried to put it there," Block said. "It's one of those shots you hope goes in."

Lake said, "Turner and I played at the same side for three years and I was able to time it and I gave her a through ball."

Lake then fed a touch pass to Walsh, who slid it home to make it 3-1.

Freshmen Megan Root and Lauren Garcia won many balls for Staples and their aggressive play helped the home team maintain its push.

The Lady Wreckers didn't let up. Block showed tenacity in taking the ball and got it to Fagan, who slid it in from the right wing to make it 4-1.

"It was a nice cross and I was able to slip it past the keeper," Fagan said.

Lake added a goal before the half to make it 5-1.

"At halftime, we saw we had to keep scoring and treated the game like it was 0-0," Lake said.

Seniors Alex Wiener, Katie Ambrose and Lisa Shirafuji helped defensively in the second half. Block and junior Ryan Kirshner scored for the Lady Wreckers to make it 7-1. The Lady Tigers got a goal back before sophomore Gia Mitas closed out the scoring for Staples by scoring on a penalty kick.

"I owe a lot to our team coming together yesterday in practice," Fagan said. "We went over what we did wrong against Danbury and we came out strong. Everyone came out strong on every single tackle and it showed in the score."