Despite giving its best efforts, the Staples field hockey team fell short in its season-opener.

Staples lost 3-0 at home to Wilton Tuesday in a non-league game. There's no shame in losing to Wilton because its one of the best teams in the FCIAC.

"Wilton is a great team and we had great moments," Lady Wreckers coach Cecily Cowburn said. "If we capitalized on our opportunities, it would have been different."

Moreover, the Lady Wreckers played hard and trailed 1-0 with 10 minutes remaining in the half.

"The score was deceiving and we were pretty fairly matched with Wilton," said Cowburn, who was pleased with her team's performance. "We're playing good hockey this year and I look forward to play Wilton again [on the road Oct. 4 in a league game]."

In fact, Staples had a chance to take an early lead when senior captain Emily Ashken nearly scored on a breakaway but the ball ricochet past the Lady Warriors' goalie's pads and hit the outside of the net.

"It was tough," Ashken said. "We had a few breakaways where we didn't capitalize. We played well as a team and I look forward to playing Wilton again."

The shot trickling away from the net was a game-changer.

"I think we could have picked up the momentum," Ashken said. "Instead, they picked up the momentum."

The Lady Warriors took a 1-0 lead with 14:18 remaining in the half when senior tri-captain Clare Detrick-Yee scored from classmate Sarah Leffel. Wilton continued to dominate the first half and if it weren't for Lady Wreckers senior goalie Chris Lueb (six saves), the Lady Warriors could have extended their lead before halftime. Wilton ended the game with an 8-2 advantage in penalty corners and outshot Staples, 9-5.

"A lot of times, it takes us a long time to get started," Cowburn said. "We were tentative at first and we watched more than we played. We need to step up to the ball more."

Ashken played well for the Lady Wreckers and constantly stepped up to the ball. She had three shots on net and started a few breakaways. However, Lady Warrior 5-11 sophomore goalie Lizette Roman-Johnston (five saves) made some impressive saves to preserve the lead.

Staples senior captain sweeper Callie Hiner and junior Josie Fair played well defensively and broke up many plays. Hiner also played well offensively when Cowburn moved her to the midfield and had a golden chance to tie it, only to be stymied by Roman-Johnston. Senior captain Blaney Rotanz also had a shot for the Lady Wreckers.

Wilton sophomore Emily Arrix dribbled it in and poked it home after Lueb tried to cut down the angle with 9:22 left in the game to make it 2-0. Senior Hannah Riney iced it for the Lady Warriors with 3:08 to go when she scored off a penalty corner on a broken play.

"We didn't expect them to score on those type of plays," Ashken said. "We were expecting the big shots and the big goals. We got tired on defense, but overall, I'm proud of the team because we played hard for 60 minutes."

Cowburn said, "We can only grow from these things. We haven't peaked yet and I'm excited for the season."