The Staples field hockey team faced its toughest challenge of the season in the Class L quarterfinals on Friday afternoon. Traveling 70 miles to top-seeded, undefeated, Glastonbury was one thing, but trying to score on a defense that hadn't yield a goal in any of its games was another.

It was a Rubik's Cube the Wreckers couldn't solve.

Despite long periods of possession hovering around the Glastonbury cage, the Wreckers couldn't score and succumbed to a 1-0 defeat on a second-half goal by Catherine Guanci with 12:21 left in the game. Glastonbury advanced to take on Conard or Cheshire in the semifinals next week, and extended its scoreless streak to 1,060 minutes.

"I thought we played awesome, I thought we dominated the game," Staples coach Ashley Del Vecchio said. "We definitely out-skilled Glastonbury, the only thing we were lacking was shots and finishing inside the circle."

The Tomahawks' impressive streak continued into the semifinals despite wave after wave of attack by Staples. Chances were few and far between as the teams combined for 10 shots and seven penalty corners.

"I have no explanation for (the streak)," Glastonbury coach Maureen Perkins said. "When our defense needs to step up, we step up; I'm proud of them. Staples was awesome, they were an awesome team. We knew coming in the schedule that they played they were going to give us a great test. Our defense was able to hold them."

Punt and play defense is a phrase usually reserved to for a football field, but the Tomahawks employed the strategy against Staples. Defenders cleared the ball the length of the field, forcing the Wreckers to break down Glastonbury again.

"I don't think we were nervous with their defense, we wanted to get by them," Staples midfielder Meg Fay said. "They're a very good defensive team; they played a great game. I think we played a great game too."

One long ball turned into a goal for Glastonbury. Guanci picked up the ball well outside the circle, controlled it into the circle, rounded Wreckers goalie Jodie Baris and hit a ball on goal that missed a crowd of defenders and crossed the line.

Once Glastonbury broke the deadlock, only one outcome seemed possible. The Tomahawks seized control of the last 10 minutes and didn't yield a significant chance.

"I don't think they have any regrets besides not scoring," Del Vecchio said. "They worked really hard; they came out and played hard. I'm proud of them."

The loss ends the Wreckers' season at 13-5-0-1, which includes a trip to the FCIAC semifinals. Despite the defeat, the Wreckers delivered one of its best performances of the season against an elite opponent.

"We had a fantastic last game and I'm really proud of everyone on this team," Fay said. "It's a sad outcome and we really wanted to move forward. I guess it is hard coming into a game knowing no one has scored on this team; but we thought we could do it."

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