Staples girls soccer routs Greenwich
WESTPORT — Without Yale-bound Lydia Shaw leading the front line for the rest of the season with a knee injury, the Staples girls soccer team will have to look to a variety of players to chip in the goals.
On Tuesday at home against Greenwich, just about everyone managed to find the back of the net, including a rising star in sophomore Ashley Wright.
Wright fired a hat trick and the Wreckers scored six goals in the second half to rout Greenwich 9-0 and leave the Cardinals winless.
“Yesterday we did a lot of work on attacking movement,” Staples coach Barry Beattie said. “Getting girls into the box quicker. ... we’ve had to work on other things because (Shaw) gave us so many things.”
Wright, who has 10 goals this season, got the Wreckers off and running after just four minutes with a goal. Beattie says her biggest strength is her work ethic, which caused havoc in the Greenwich box.
“Ashley is a good finisher,” Beattie said. “Her work rate is unreal; her last goal is the complete definition of her as a striker. She never gives defenders a minute to rest.”
Her second goal came off a scramble from a corner kick, and she finished off the hat trick midway through the second half.
“We worked well together,” said Wright, who also had three goals in a game against Trinity Catholic earlier this season. “I really enjoy it, especially because this is my sophomore year. It’s nice to being able to score as a striker.”
Staples scored twice in the last 30 seconds to make it 9-0 in its second game since falling 2-1 to Ridgefield last Wednesday.
Greenwich was on its heels from a wave of Staples pressure for most of the 80 minutes. Cardinals goalie Emma Barefoot finished the afternoon with 17 saves.
“They forced pressure on every player,” Greenwich coach Danny Simpson said. “When mistakes were made we were punished. They were ruthless on any chance that we gave up. Our goalkeeper was our man of the match today by far.”
Wreckers freshman Reese Sutter — who transferred from Greens Farms Academy after playing varsity as an eighth grader last season — provided the highlight of the match with a sublime goal from outside the box in the second half.
Tia Zajec, Grace Wynne, Jane Ewert and Marlo Von der Ahe also scored for Staples (5-1-1), which gets a big test in St. Joseph Thursday. The Cadets haven't visited the grass of Loeffler Field in at least six years.
“Our girls are hungry and St. Joes will bring a different test,” Beattie said. “It will be a tough game but we’re ready for it.”
The Cardinals are used to being in the hunt for postseason honors — as they did last year they reached the FCIAC semifinals and Class LL quarterfinals — but face a tall order just to qualify this year. Simpson conceded his team has encountered a steep learning curve against the league's best.
“It’s been a tough transition,” Simpson said. “The girls have played against some very good sides; we don’t just seem to have a spark.”
STAPLES 9, GREENWICH 0
GREENWICH 1 0—0
STAPLES 3 6—9
Records: Greenwich—0-6-1, Staples—5-1-1. Goals: S—Ashley Wright 3, Reese Sutter 2, Grace Wynne, Tia Zajec, Marlo Von der Ahe, Goalies: G—Emma Barefoot (17 saves); S—Anna Sivinski (1); Camryn Ragland (1).