After posting an impressive 13-2 record during the regular season, the last thing the Greenwich field hockey team wanted to do was fall in the first round of both the FCIAC and Class L tournaments.

Thanks to an impressive freshman and an ever-reliable senior, the Cardinals ensured they wouldn't fall at the first hurdle for the second time after falling to Fairfield Warde in the FCIAC quarterfinals.

Freshman Paige Mautner scored twice and Sydney Cole added a goal and an assist as Greenwich advanced to the Class L quarterfinals with a 3-1 win over Staples on Wednesday afternoon. The Cardinals will face New Canaan Friday in the round of eight.

"It was all about communication," Cardinals defender Lizzy Trotta said. "We were lacking it in the Warde game; everyone stepped it up, all the defenders were constantly talking and that was very helpful."

After a cagey 15 minutes that saw neither team generate a scoring chance, Staples grabbed the lead. Meg Fay dribbled down the left wing and fired a shot that evaded Greenwich goalie Freddie Bancroft and into the back of the cage.

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"Usually (Fay) plays center-mid but we put her on the left side and the left side in field hockey is so difficult because you have to use the reverse stick," Wreckers coach Ashley Del Vecchio said. "She played absolutely phenomenal."

Mautner quickly responded for the Cardinals (14-2) off a goal line scramble that included multiple saves by Staples goalie Jodie Baris. Cole scored what proved to be the game-winning goal with 3:06 left in the first half off a cross ball.

"After we took the lead we were up, when Greenwich tied we still felt we had a chance," Del Vecchio said. "When they scored again that's when we put our heads down; questioning whether we were going able to get back in it."

Staples nearly immediately responded, but Fay's shot was cleared off the goal line by Trotta.

"Really it was all (Bancroft)," Trotta said. "I was just in the right position. It was really exciting, I was just glad we could keep (the lead)."

The Wreckers (7-9-0-2) applied pressure in the second half and had multiple chances to tie the game. A pair of shots from distance off penalty corners by Fay and Elizabeth Bennewitz was saved by Bancroft, and Bancroft was on the floor to deny a chance from five yards out.

Mautner added an insurance goal with 5:59 remaining. Baris made five saves for Staples.

The Wreckers, who fell 5-0 to Greenwich during the regular season, defeated Amity 2-1 in overtime to reach the first round. Del Vecchio noted the improvement of her team since the first meeting with the Cardinals a month ago.

"We improved so much from the first time we played Greenwich," Del Vecchio said. "Even to come out, take the lead and mentally know you can do that is an accomplishment."