Lady Wrecker booters beat Stamford, fall short of FCIACs
The Staples girls soccer team closed out the regular season with a 4-0 win at Stamford Thursday to finish the regular season at 8-5-3.
However, Staples didn't make the FCIAC tournament because Trumbull tied Westhill 1-1 Thursday and edged out the Lady Wreckers for the final FCIAC playoff spot because of its 4-1 win over Staples Oct. 3.
"It's really upsetting not being in FCIACs even though we had a chance to win it," Lady Wreckers senior captain Abbey Lake said. "I think we deserved to be in FCIACs. We were the better team in games we didn't win."
Although Staples didn't make the FCIAC tournament, it still did what it had to do against Stamford and it's in the Class LL tournament, which it begins Nov. 7. The Lady Black Knights ended their season at 3-13.
"I'm definitely very happy with our performance," Lady Wreckers coach Nikki Ross said. "Unfortunately, the weather wasn't the best."
Ross was referring to the rain, which made it difficult for Staples to gain its traction.
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"In this type of weather, it's sloppy, but once we got warmed up, you can see things coming together for us," Ross said. "It was their senior day and they came out strong."
Lake said, "We worked really well together as a team and came out hard despite the weather conditions. We definitely could have had a few more goals. We were getting used to the weather and turf and after awhile, we got used to them. We knew we were the better team but we didn't want to take any chances because one shot aided by the wind could bounce in [and cost us]."
The Lady Wreckers outshot Stamford, 13-4, and had a 7-3 advantage in corner kicks. Lake gave them a 1-0 lead when she dribbled downfield, juked past Lady Knight defenders and scored with 5:01 remaining in the first half. This was the first of two goals for her.
"Fagan passed it in at the top of the 18 and I shot it in the right corner," Lake said.
She was referring to senior captain Abby Fagan, who controlled the midfield and deftly crossed it to the forwards all game. Freshman Chloe Rosenfield also came up big in the midfield by winning 50-50 balls. Junior forward Ryan Kirshner also created opportunities up top for Staples.
"Our defense did a good job of stepping up and not allow them opportunities," Ross said. "We were strong in the midfield and we were able to dominate play."
Senior captain goalie Jessie Ambrose (four saves) made some big saves. Ambrose caught a corner kick and knocked a blistering shot over the net.
Freshman Lauren Garcia gave the Lady Wreckers breathing room when she kicked home a shot with 32:10 left in the game to make it 2-0. This was Garcia's first varsity goal of her career.
"I've been working very hard and I'm so excited to get the goal," Garcia said. "It was a nice pass from Abbey [Lake]. I definitely felt we could breathe easier after my goal."
Fagan scored from Lake with 14:50 to go after receiving a cross on the outside. Lake dribbled in and scored the final goal of the game with 10:55 left.
Staples will go 11 days between games and hopes it doesn't get rusty. The Lady Wreckers might get a home game, pending on the seedings.
"Hopefully, it [the time off] will give us a chance to work on things," Lake said. "I'm excited to play one more time at Loeffler as a senior. Practice should be like a boot camp. Hopefully, we'll get it together for states and make it to the quarterfinals, semifinals or finals, or maybe win it all."