GREENWICH -- The Staples girls soccer team has shown a penchant for slow starts so far this season, so, playing with high energy from the opening whistle was a focus coming into its matchup with two-time defending FCIAC champion Greenwich on Thursday.
The Wreckers delivered, scoring two minutes into the match, then held on down the stretch to earn a 1-1 draw behind solid defense and stellar goalkeeping from Alison Thomson.
"We have been having a hard time starting," Staples head coach Heather Driscoll said. "It is definitely something we have been talking about and something that builds our spirits."
Staples' Maggie Walsh sent a corner into the box that got knocked around before Gea Mitas picked it up in a little space just inside the 18, drilling a shot into the upper corner to put the Wreckers (2-5-4) up 1-0.
With Staples coming out hyped up, Greenwich seemed to take a while to start clicking.
"We didn't play our best. We could do better," Greenwich head coach Danny Simpson said. "Credit to our opponents, they came here today looking for some confidence and they got some in the first half. We were just a little below par."
Greenwich (7-1-3) slowly began to control the ball, applying pressure on the Staples defense, creating their best opportunity with 22:05 to play in the half when Molli Haimerl dribbled in past the Wreckers' defense, firing a shot toward the lower left corner that Thompson dove and knocked out of bounds.
Thompson finished with 12 saves, several in the second half at point blank range.
"She is super aggressive and has a great knowledge of the game," Driscoll said. "She made a couple huge stops to keep us in it."
Stephanie Gittings put home a rebound off an Emily Johnson shot that Thompson deflected off the crossbar, but right onto the foot of the senior forward, who tapped it home with two minutes to play in the half.
"It was pretty much all Emily (Johnson), I just ran in and finished it," Gittings said. "The majority of the time she gets it on target, so, I just tried to be there. We didn't have a great warm-up but in the second half we started to crank it up a little bit."
The Cardinals did crank it up in the second half, keeping the ball in their half of the pitch for almost all of the final 40 minutes. But they could not get the ball in the back of the net.
The best chance for Greenwich came when Haimerl fired a shot from just inside the 18 that Thompson knocked down as she fell to her knees, leaving her in a good spot to also get a hand on the rebound opportunity by Naomi Leeds.
"We talked about not panicking and playing our game," Simpson said. "I thought we put good pressure on their defense most of the second half and I was pleased that the girls changed the way they went out there in the second half."
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Greenwich 1, Staples 1
STAPLES 1 0 -- 1
GREENWICH 1 0 -- 1
Scoring: G -- Stephanie Gittings 1g; S -- Gea Mitas 1g
Goalies: Kylie Ginsberg 2 saves; Allison Thompson 12 saves
Records: G 7-1-3; S 2-5-4