TRUMBULL -- With 10 seniors from last season having graduated, Staples High head coach Heather Driscoll and the team's returnees knew that the transition to this year would come with some challenges.
The Wreckers, however, didn't foresee injuries playing a factor.
Staples lost for the fourth time in five matches on Tuesday afternoon, 4-0 at St. Joseph, as Driscoll again had to make the best of a lineup that has a slightly different look to it.
"We've been dealing a lot with injuries this year and it's just been really unfortunate. A lot of kids (have been) getting nicked up and missing games," Driscoll said. "We haven't had a single game that we've had complete healthy players. It's been hard to catch a rhythm and get into any sort of a flow when your lineup is constantly changing."
St. Joseph (5-2-1) put the match away early, scoring three goals in the first 10 minutes, and the final with 5:19 left in the first half. Junior Sabrina Toole scored off an assist from senior Katie Danaher on a set piece just 4:05 in, and Toole added her second of the match at the 10 minute mark to make it 3-0.
Sophomore Julia Marino notched a goal and freshman Jenna Bike had a goal and two assists.
"We just came off of two losses ourselves so our girls were pretty excited to play," St. Joseph head coach Jack Nogueira said. "Obviously (Staples) is depleted with injuries, so take those two things, put them together and that's the result you'll probably get."
Staples had no answer for St. Joseph's early outburst on attack and suffered its fifth loss of the season--one shy of its total from all of last year.
"I think we just have a hard time getting our focus and coming out ready to play," Driscoll said.
The Wreckers, who have been without a few impact players, including senior midfielder Turner Block (torn ACL in offseason), responded with a much stronger effort in the second half. They developed a few quality chances but were unable to slip a shot past junior goalkeeper Molly Meehan, who recorded three saves for a shutout.
St. Joseph finished the match with a 12-4 edge in shots.
"Again, just not putting together a complete game," Driscoll said. "But when we did play well, we created some chances and we were much more organized."
Staples' back line held firm in the second half as the Cadets found it more difficult to push toward the net, and as a result, were held scoreless. Goalkeeper Alison Thomson finished the afternoon with seven saves.
"We've been working a lot this week and talked a lot at halftime about keeping up our shape and I think they did a much better job," Driscoll said.
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ST. JOSEPH 4, STAPLES 0
STAPLES 0 0--4
ST. JOSEPH 4 0--4
Records: Staples 1-5-2; St. Joseph 5-2-1.
Goals: SJ--Sabrina Toole 2, Julia Marino, Jenna Bike. Assists: SJ--Bike 2, Katie Danaher. Goalies: S--Alison Thomson (7 saves); SJ--Molly Meehan (3). Shots: S--4; SJ--12.