A slow start complicated things for the Staples girls lacrosse team Thursday.

However, Staples refused to be derailed by its earlier moments in a 15-11 win at Danbury.

"It was a tough game," Lady Wreckers co-head coach Cathy Schager wrote in an e-mail. "Danbury put up a good fight, and we had some trouble cleanly snagging the draw control. It took a little while for us to adjust defensively but we were able to after halftime."

Staples raised its record to 12-3 and closes out the regular season today (May 16) at home against Ridgefield. Danbury dropped to 8-6.

"Danbury is a well-coached team and they are always competitive," Lady Wreckers co-head coach Stacy Fierce said. "They made us work on the draw and ground balls."

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The Lady Hatters scored first and led for most of the first half. They were led by Pauline Kaplan (four goals) and their lead peaked at two, 4-2 with 12:54 remaining.

However, Staples answered the bell and tied it four times, the last time at 5-5 on Jessie Ambrose's goal. Ambrose (four goals, two assists, two draw controls) has been developing into a go-to player and gave the Lady Wreckers their first lead, 6-5 with 2:07 left in the half.

"Going into the game, we were flat, but we did a good job of picking up the intensity and finding the holes in their defense," Ambrose said. "My teammates did a good job of getting me the ball and our offense started to mesh."

Less than a minute later, Danbury tied it. However, Ambrose scored with 28 seconds to go to give Staples the lead for good, 7-6.

Ambrose scored the first goal of the second half to give the Lady Wreckers a two-goal advantage and their lead was never threatened.

"It was pretty back-and-forth for most of the game and then we were finally able to pull away in the end when we executed offensively," Schager said.

Fierce said, "One of the greatest elements of the 2012 team is their coachability. Schager and I made adjustments at the half which the team was able to execute effectively. And from there it was a game-changer."

Ali Crofts (two goals, one assist) restored the two-goal margin after the Lady Hatters answered Ambrose's goal. Maeve Flaherty (four goals) scored two goals late in the game to put it away.

Freshman Paige Murray (three goals, two draw controls, one ground ball, one caused turnover) continued to develop into a future go-to player. Remy Nolan and Megan O'Shea (one caused turnover) had a goal each for Staples.

"We came out a little flat, but by the end of our game, we were playing our game," Crofts said.

Lady Wrecker goalie Kirsten Flicker made six saves. Crofts (three draw controls, three ground balls, one caused turnover) helped Staples gain possession many times.

Katie Kleinberg and Ryan Kirshner each had a ground ball and a draw control. Meredith Hood and Jenna McNicholas each came up with a draw control.

Although the Lady Wreckers are 12-3, they feel there is room for improvement.

"We have to more consistently dominate draw controls and 50-50 balls and we need to communicate," Schager said. "Our offensive transition is a big key component too so we need to make sure that is fully implemented."

Staples is setting it sights on making two playoff runs, FCIACs and Class L. It's push starts in the regular-season finale.

"We have momentum going into Ridgefield," Crofts said. "It's our senior day, and we hope to get the win and go into the playoffs on a high note."

Fierce said, "We are looking forward to competing with our full roster for the play-offs. These girls have the ability to win any game if they put their mind to it. When we are running as a team on the defensive and offensive ends, we can compete with anyone."

It's tough for opposing teams to faceguard one Lady Wrecker in particular because the team has many girls who could step up in the clutch.

"The great thing about this year is that there isn't one superstar, there are many, and any win is the result of the full cast of players," Fierce added.

eschickler@bcnnew.com; 203-255-4561, ext. 115; twitter.com/2000Schick