Lady Wrecker booters feel victorious in tie
Updated 12:40 am, Friday, October 7, 2011
Sometimes, a tie feels like a victory.
This was the case for the Staples girls soccer team in its 2-2 home tie against Greenwich Wednesday. Staples erased a two-game losing streak and erased a two-goal deficit to move to 3-3-2 despite missing three forwards, Ali Crofts, Adele Mackey and Ryan Kirshner because of injuries. Greenwich is now 6-1-2.
`It definitely felt pretty good and it was a positive for our team," Lady Wreckers coach Nikki Ross said. "I think it will put us in a positive spin. It's huge for us and it shows we have a lot of character on our team."
Greenwich scored early on a corner kick to take a 1-0 lead. Staples had chances to tie it with Turner Block making a few good runs down the field, only to be stopped by the Lady Cardinals' defense. Abbey Lake also had a few good runs to the net for the Lady Wreckers and Maggie Walsh went in for a shot but Greenwich goalie Maddie Graham (four saves) left the net and cut down the angle.
Siri Andrews made many tackles on defense for Staples and Colleen McCarthy also had some tackles for the Lady Wreckers. Julia Tziolis and Gea Mitas also prevented the Lady Cardinals from mounting an attack on several occasions and Staples freshman Megan Root broke up plays on corner kicks.
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Naomi Leeds increased Greenwich's lead to 2-0 with 12:04 remaining in the half, but Staples immediately struck back. Lake fed Block, who boomed a shot past Graham to cut it to 2-1 with 10:51, which was the score at the half.
"I dribbled down the line and passed it to Turner in the center," Lake said. "She had a great touch and a great shot."
Block said, "We played with a lot of heart and we played cohesively. They scored first and made us want it more. I saw the goalie in front of me, I shot it wide of her and it went in."
The Lady Wreckers had a chance to tie it with 10 minutes to go in the game when Lake was taken down in the 18-yard box and they were awarded a penalty kick. Andrews took it but Graham made a nice save on her.
"I'm proud of Siri for wanting to take it," Ross said.
With time winding down, the Lady Cardinals committed a foul and the Lady Wreckers were awarded a free kick. Alex Wiener took it for Staples and Lady Wrecker goalie Jessie Ambrose charged down the field and headed it in with 1:37 left.
"There were two minutes left and I wasn't helpful back there," Ambrose said. "Alex put a perfect ball in the middle and I knew I wanted to head it in. I got a piece of it and flicked it in with my head."
Ambrose, who is used to stopping shots, relished the moment even though she knew it wasn't the norm for her.
"The whole situation was weird," Ambrose said. "There was a hole in their [Greenwich's] defense and the ball was perfectly placed."
Ross, who gave the green light for the play, said, "We knew we could count on Jessie and knew we had nothing to lose. We missed a penalty kick earlier but the girls fought back to tie it, which says a lot about our team."
About a minute after her goal, Ambrose (four saves) executed the conventional part of her job by making a jumping save and punched it over the net to preserve the tie.
"We knew we weren't going to lose the game after I tied it and after everything that happened, I wasn't going to let the team down," Ambrose said. "I knew the girl had a good shot and I prepared to go up high. I did my best to make sure it didn't go in."
Despite setting for a tie, Staples felt like it was victorious.
"They are a team we wanted to beat and we felt tying them would stand out in the FCIAC," Lake said. "Losing three starters is hard but we're overcoming it and playing together."