New Canaan, Staples tie in field hockey
The Staples field hockey team hadn’t allowed a goal in any of its previous four games entering Thursday’s matchup with defending FCIAC champion New Canaan at home.
Goals were aplenty at Ginny Parker Field, with each netting three in a 3-3 tie after 60 minutes of action couldn’t separate the teams. The teams played a 7-on-7 overtime period for another 10 minutes without a goal.
Both teams were in the final four of the FCIAC a year ago and are in contention to be there once again.
Staples jumped out to a 2-0 lead inside the first 20 minutes with a display worthy of FCIAC contenders. Meghan Johnson converted a cross ball with 22:05 left in the first half to open the scoring, and Rachel Stanford made it 2-0 six minutes later.
The Rams closed the half strong and score twice in the last six minutes to enter the break tied at 2-2. Ellery Baran converted a penalty corner and Camaren Dayton finished off a scramble in front for New Canaan.
“I think we lost momentum,” Staples coach Ian Tapsall said. “The thing about New Canaan is that they’re a very aggressive, skillful side and if you lose your momentum and confidence in your own third they’re going to overrun you.”
New Canaan — which fell 4-0 to rival Darien on Tuesday —piled on the pressure in the second half and Baran’s second goal with 16:35 left gave her team a 3-2 lead. Though Staples had little possession up until that point in the period, Christine Taylor scored a goal off a penalty corner for the Wreckers to tie the match with 12:28 remaining.
“We knew we had to get into their half,” Tapsall said. “Once we were in their half I think we made things happen, the problem was we didn’t get in their half enough.”
The Rams — who had an 18-4 edge in penalty corners — had 14 penalty corners in the second half and overtime but were unable to cash in.
“I think it was just one of those days where we just couldn’t quite capitalize on some of the opportunities that we had,” New Canaan coach Erin Gildea said. “We also had a slow start; when you spot a great team like Staples a 2-0 lead you have some work to do. I was proud of the way they battled back.”
The best chance for the Rams came in the waning seconds of overtime when the Wreckers saw two players receive warnings that caused them to be removed for a penalty corner. New Canaan had just two Wreckers to deal with on defense, but Staples goalie Jodie Baris made a save to preserve a point.
“I couldn’t even watch it,” Gildea said. “That’s something we have to improve on if we want to win FCIACs or states; we have to capitalize on those opportunities.”
NEW CANAAN 3, STAPLES 3
NEW CANAAN 2 1 0—3
STAPLES 2 1 0—3
Records: New Canaan (3-1-1), Staples (4-0-1).
Goals: NC—Ellery Baran 2, Camaren Dayton; S—Meghan Johnson, Rachel Stanford, Christine Taylor. Assists: NC—S—Ellen Fair, Gabriel Vega, Colleen Bannon; Goalies: NC—Emily Conley 4 saves. S—Jodie Baris (5 saves). Shots: NC—14. S—9.