Lady Wreckers tame Ridgefield
The Staples field hockey team dominated Ridgefield in a 2-0 home victory on Wednesday to raise its record to 7-6 and moving into ninth place in the FCIAC behind Danbury.
"This game was sort of a stepping stone in our season. I'm very happy we were able to produce a win, we really needed it," said Lady Wreckers Coach Cecily Cowburn.
Staples outshot Ridgefield 19-1 and had 15-1 advantage in penalty corners but wasn't able to capitalize until junior Emily Ashken scored the first goal of the game off of a direct corner shot 17 minutes into the first half. Junior Callie Hiner set up the play and was credited with the assit. Throughout the game, Ashken set up a multitude of great offensive plays and was "a key foundation to the game today," as Cowburn stated.
Regarding defense, Captain Elizabeth Driscoll was aggressive on the ball and quickly displaced it into the midfield throughout the first half.
The seniors agreed that remembering the team's goals and the importance of the game was what caused their evident motivation gain.
"I think the thought of our season ending too early, without us making it to the FCIAC playoffs is what inspired us to gain back our energy," said senior Ellen Kaminski, who specifically cited the coach's first time-out as the cause of their inspiration to play better.
The second half of the game was marked by Staples' offensive domination, as the ball was in Ridgefield's half of the field for much of the 30 minutes. Though Ridgefield defenders were often able to send the ball toward the midfield, Staples midfielders Hannah Bjornson, Hiner and Kaminski did a great job moving the ball down the side and passing it back into the center. Bjornson and Hiner, in particular, made many great runs down the right side of the field at the beginning of the second half.
Staples made many great shots that were either deflected by the goalie, or that just missed. In the entire game, the goalie saved an impressive 17 of the 19 shots taken by Staples. Hiner and Caroline Kearney both attempted unsuccessful shots toward the end of the half.
"Our biggest weakness is actually getting the ball in the goal. We can get it up the field, but we have trouble in the actual circle," said Kaminski.
With eight minutes left of the game, Kaminski was able to finish one of these plays by scoring off of a great pass from senior tri-captain Erica Gendell.
In general, the team feels that, when they regained their energy, they played a good, hard game and did many things well. Bjornson said that their smart passing, communication, and speed were key contributors to the team's ultimate success. Cowburn stated that, "I've stressed off-ball movement to the girls, and it's starting to click."
"Of course there's always room for improvement in many areas but what it comes down to is the score, and we came away with the win we needed," Driscoll said.
The Lady Wreckers host Fairfield Warde today in a game they deem essential to their hopes of making FCIAC's. This game is their Senior Day game. Staples plays at Hall tomorrow and hosts Darien on Wednesday.