Tough second half costs Lady Wrecker booters
A tough second half cost the Staple girls soccer team Monday. Although Staples came out strong in the first half in which it was tied with undefeated New Canaan, it couldn't sustain its play in the second half. New Canaan dominated the second half in its 2-1 win at Loeffler Field, saddling the Lady Wreckers with their first home loss of the season. New Canaan raised its record to 9-0-2 while Staples dropped to 5-5-1.
"I think we played hard the whole time but we just had one letdown," said Lady Wrecker senior captain Kate Burke.
Senior captain Freddie Kemp gave the Rams a 1-0 lead with 29:19 remaining in the first half when she boomed home a direct kick from 40 yards.
Just as the score reflected, the first half was evenly played with both teams compiling five shots on net each. The game was played mostly between both 18-yard boxes.
Rams junior Katie McKeever and senior Liz Bruno had a give-and-go up the field but Lady Wrecker juniors Kelly Bohling, Shannon Moss and Nicole Rothschild along with sophomore Shannon Lesch were all over the field on defense and prevented New Canaan from getting off shots. Junior Abby Lee almost scored the go-ahead goal from the Rams but Staples sophomore goalie Jessie Ambrose (10 saves) caught her shot.
Senior captains Julia Byrne and Melanie Rubin and juniors Nicole Brill and Julie Strickland played well in the midfield for the Lady Wreckers. Byrne passed well and was technically sound, Rubin utilized her speed to create opportunities, Brill hustled to some balls and Sckland had a few good throw-ins.
Katz had a few blazing shots that Burwick caught and Burke had a few breakaways, but Kemp, who is a sweeper, led the defense in containing the duo and Staples' attack.
Following halftime, the ball was in the Lady Wreckers' end for the duration. New Canaan outshot Staples 8-2 in the second half and kept the pressure on with Caroline Murray smacking a few shots, only to be thwarted by Ambrose.
Ambrose wasn't able to stop a breakaway, which senior captain Kasey Pippitt started with a touch pass to Bruno, who slid it in for the score with 29:24 to go in the game.
Senior captains Clare Ashforth and Emily Goetz played well in the midfield for the Rams. Ambrose made a save on Ashforth's direct kick from 40 yards and junior Jana Persky ed to create a scoring chance for New Canaan but Bohling stopped her. Murray was very aggressive and almost made it a two-goal game but hit the post.
"It's really tough and we really wanted it," said Burke. "We have the same amount of talent as them and we could have done it."