Staples field hockey team tops Danbury 5-1 in opener
Bending but not breaking for the better part of the first 30 minutes of its season-opening clash with Staples, the Danbury field hockey team looked like it got the break it needed in the first minute of the second half Tuesday.
After her first shot was stopped, Danielle Reisert got to her own rebound and sent a slow roller to the Staples cage that somehow went in, cutting her team's deficit to one.
The Hatters would soon find themselves on the wrong end of another tough break, however, as a shot from Staples' Colleen Bannon deflected high into the air and took a strange route into the Danbury cage with 27:30 to play.
The fortuitous bounce sent the Wreckers on their way to a 5-1 opening day road win.
"It's huge," Staples coach Ashley Del Vecchio said. "They were just trying to pick each other right back up. We always pretend the score is 0-0, so they really just get pumped up and play the whole time."
The Wreckers indicated that they had been have some difficulties creating scoring chances in the preseason, so the five-goal output was good to see.
"Last year we were definitely weaker on (scoring goals)," Staples captain Jenna McNicholas said. "But it's awesome to see this year that we have a lot of girls who can score. We have a lot of depth on our team, and I think that's going to get us far this year."
Danbury generated a scoring opportunity in the first minute of the game when Ciara Broggy pushed the ball into the attacking zone and sent a centering pass to Reisert. Reisert's one-time shot was denied by Staples goalie Jodie Baris.
Unfortunately for the Hatters, they didn't register their second shot until only 13:02 remained in the half.
Less than eight minutes into the game, Staples was successful on its first penalty corner of the season. Emma Laney knocked the ball into the back of the Danbury cage following a scramble, establishing a game-long lead.
"It's really exciting," McNicholas said. "We're just instituting what we've been working on in practice with our passing."
The Wreckers (1-0) doubled their lead when Jordan Ragland made a hard charge to the net, eluding a defender to make it 2-0.
Though Danbury goalie Kristen Gayle was bested for the early two goals, she was also instrumental in keeping her Hatters in contention, as evidenced by her four saves in the final three minutes of the half.
"I think Kristen Gayle did an admirable job," Brough said. "I think our defensive unit needs to step up and support her a little bit better and put additional pressure on their attack."