One bad first half was the difference for the Staples girls soccer team on Wednesday. Staples came out slow in a 1-0 home loss to Westhill (7-2-3) and dropped to 8-2-3. Westhill senior Lizzie Van Name scored on a breakaway with 29:15 left in the first half.

"It was a slow start," Lady Wreckers Coach Nikki Ross said. "They didn't go to the ball and when they had it, they held onto it for too long. They need to play quicker."

The Lady Vikings controlled the entire first half and played the game in Staples' defensive end for almost the entire half. Westhill finished the game by outshooting the Lady Wreckers, 8-3, and had a 3-1 advantage in corner kicks.

Junior goalie Jessie Ambrose (six saves) kept Staples in the game. Ambrose stopped some tough shots and caught a blazing one to rob sophomore Nicole Pellicano of a goal.

"One goal in soccer is the game sometimes and especially in a tight game this," Ambrose said. "You have to keep everyone in the game and make the saves to bring the team up."

Pellicano attacked relentlessly and one of her shots sailed over the net. She was also stymied by Lady Wrecker sophomore defender Siri Andrews, who blocked one of Pelicano's shots.

Staples came out stronger in the second half and attacked more than it did in the first half. Sophomore Turner Block set up senior Nikki Brill's run but the Lady Viking defense got back on time. Junior Abbey Lake fired a shot from the left wing that Westhill goalie Jennifer Osher snagged.

"We played a better half overall in the second half but we need to come out with the same and urgency at the beginning of the game," Ross said.

Lady Wrecker senior tri-captain Kelly Bohling said, "We came out too late and the goal was a fluke. We played a lot better in the second half but it was too little, too late."

Senior tri-captain Shannon Moss won balls in the midfield for Staples and broke up plays there. Classmate Nikki Brill also controlled things in the midfield and headed the ball into the offensive zone.

Juniors Shannon Lesch and Abby Fagan also had good touches and repelled the Lady Vikings while trying to move the ball up the field.

Sophomore Ryan Kirshner had a few great runs and sent a nice long cross to senior tri-captain Jaclyn Katz. Although the speedy Katz made great moves in getting towards the goal, Westhill's defense got back in time to thwart her.

The Lady Vikings had a few good runs towards Ambrose in the second half but Bohling, Andrews, senior Lauren Kratky, Moss, Lesch and Fagan got back and broke up their plays.