Lady Wreckers harpoon Brewster
Updated 5:27 pm, Tuesday, May 1, 2012
The Staples girls lacrosse team passed the first of two tests it's facing this week.
Staples raised its record to 10-2 with a 9-7 home win over Brewster of Putnam County, N.Y. Monday. Brewster dropped to 7-3.
"I thought we played great, and I loved this game," Lady Wreckers co-head coach Stacy Fierce said. "The girls were aggressive and stepped it up today. The fact we had our full lineup made a difference."
With the win, Staples goes into its second test -- a home game against undefeated Greenwich Friday -- with confidence.
"This was definitely a big win," Lady Wreckers co-head coach Cathy Schager said. "We knew Brewster was going to be tough, and after a quick start by them we really got control of the ball and the momentum. Greenwich looks very good this year. It's going to be a tough game. But we are pumped and looking forward to a few days of practice to prepare."
Against Brewster, Staples fell behind in the game's first two minutes. Megan Yarusso gave the Lady Bears a 1-0 lead with 23:08 remaining in the first half. Ali Crofts tied it for the Lady Wreckers, but Yarusso put Brewster back on top with 6:57 left off a feed from Kristen Ohberg (two goals, four assists).
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Less than a minute later, Paige Murray tied it off a feed from Jessie Ambrose (three goals, one assist, one draw control). Murray's tally started a 4-0 surge, which gave the Lady Wreckers a 5-2 lead -- which they never relinquished.
"We really had nice transition," Crofts said. "We connected our passes and spread out our offense."
Ohberg cut the Staples lead to two, 5-3 with 1:15 to go, but with a half second left, Murray cut into the 8-meter box and beat the buzzer when she flung in Crofts' pass to extend the lead back to three, 6-3.
"Ali was trying to score, but was covered," Murray said. "I popped open, and she gave me a good feed. I knew we didn't have too much time left, and I went for it."
Although Murray is only a freshman, she remained calm and knew what she needed to do.
"I felt no pressure because we were already ahead," Murray said. "Luckily, I got a good feed, and I was able to score."
Fierce said, "That was exciting, and it was awesome. It solidified the lead, and it was a nice distance to have at the half."
Despite trailing by three, the Lady Bears didn't back down. However, they weren't able to stop Maeve Flaherty (two ground balls, one caused turnover) on draw controls. Flaherty controlled four draws for Staples and helped change the momentum.
Kenzie Roof (one interception) led the Lady Wrecker defense. Katie Kleinberg, Ali April, Meredith Hood (one ground ball, one draw control) complemented Roof on the defensive end and helped bottle up Brewster.
"It was all about talking and making sure we were all on our toes, having the heart and getting to the ball once we were in a settled defense," Roof said.
Staples goalie Kristen Flicker (nine saves) especially helped in the second half with some big plays.
Lady Bear goalie Virginia Kaschura made seven saves. Megan O'Shea scored the Lady Wreckers' first goal of the second half off a feed from Crofts, and Ambrose closed out Staples' scoring with two straight goals. Her second tally gave the Lady Wreckers a 9-5 lead.
"Coach gave me the confidence to score," Ambrose said. "We knew we had to possess the ball in the last few minutes because we had the lead. We spaced the circle well, and we were hungry enough to win the 50-50 balls."
Brewster scored the final two goals of the game, the last 1:06 to go, but it couldn't get any closer.
"We've worked very hard recently on fine-tuning the offense and shooting, which definitely helped," Schager said. "The defense, both transition and settled, were definitely in the groove today. Coach Fierce has worked hard with the girls on both of those things and I think they're really getting it. Flicker also had a nice game - which always helps. It's the most complete game we've played this season."
The Lady Wreckers hope to duplicate or improve their effort Friday when they host Greenwich at the football stadium.
"This is a really good win for us, and it gives us momentum for Greenwich," Crofts said.
Roof said, "It was a very important win, and it will help us out at this point of our season. It gives us confidence going forward."