Finishing in a stalemate Monday might cost the Staples girls soccer team a berth in the FCIAC playoffs.

Staples had a 1-0 lead at Wilton for most of the game but with 3:56 remaining in the game, senior captain goalie Jessie Ambrose was out of the net and Wilton sophomore Lindsay Knutson scored the equalizer and the game ended in a 1-1 tie.

"In those last few minutes, they caught us on our heels and she lobbed it in," Ambrose.

Lady Wreckers coach Nikki Ross said, "There was miscommunication on this play. Jessie tried to step up and we were just unlucky. We played a great game and dominated a good chunk of it. We were just unlucky."

The tie moved Staples to 6-5-3 and they are in ninth place in the FCIAC, two points behind eighth-place Trumbull (6-3-5). The top eight teams make the FCIAC playoffs but no matter what, the Lady Wreckers are definitely in the Class LL playoffs. Wilton is 7-2-5 and tied for sixth place with Fairfield Warde.

"I hope we're still in it because our girls have worked hard," Ross said.

No one can fault Ambrose (nine saves) for the tie because she kept Staples in the game at many junctures. She made a save on junior Lauren Kozakiewicz in the first half but the rebound bounced over to junior Casey Pearsall on the left wing.

Pearsall had a golden chance to make it 1-0 but Ambrose made a diving save. In fact, it was the first of three times she robbed Pearsall of a goal.

"The defense did a good job of sweeping the long ball and I was there in back to get what they couldn't stop," Ambrose said. "As a goalie, the ball isn't saved until it's in your hands, so I tried to get there as quickly as possible and make the save."

At the eight-minute mark, the Lady Wreckers lost junior defender Siri Andrews to an injury. Although Andrews is their top defender, they still did well in the back row as senior Colleen McCarthy executed her tackles and junior Julia Tziolis successfully cleared the ball. Seniors Alex Wiener and Katie Ambrose, sophomore Gea Mitas and freshman Megan Root also played well defensively for Staples with Root helping out with her long throw-ins.

More Information

Fact box

Overall, the game was even with both teams taking turns in mounting an offense and finishing with 11 shots each. The Lady Wreckers had a 6-3 advantage in corner kicks and took a 1-0 lead when junior Turner Block headed home Wiener's corner kick with 7:22 left in the half.

"Alex played a great corner and I was there to head it in," Block said.

Wiener said, "I just kicked it and Turner was in the right spot and got her head on it."

Block had a few shots at the net but Lady Warrior senior goalie Elizabeth Reda (eight saves) robbed her. Reda also made great saves on senior captain Abbey Lake, who made some good moves to find openings. Reda also robbed Block on a breakaway, who was set up by Lake and junior Ryan Kirshner.

Senior captain Abby Fagan won balls in the midfield and deftly set up Lake. Root's throw-ins also created opportunities for Lake. Junior Ryan Kirshner, sophomore Sydney Crossfield, in her varsity debut, and freshmen Lauren Garcia, Chloe Rosenfield and Maggie Walsh also pushed it to Lake and Block.

However, Staples wasn't able to add to its lead and Wilton took advantage of its opening.

"I always tell them to fight the entire game and 1-0 isn't a big enough lead to sit back on," Ross said.

Block said, "We missed on a couple of chances and they capitalized on our one mistake. We got overconfident and paid for it."

The Lady Wreckers played at Brien McMahon yesterday after press time and Stamford tomorrow. They will need Trumbull to lose one of its two games in order to have a shot at making FCIACs.

"We have to play strong and get only wins," Jessie Ambrose said.