Staples girls soccer pushes past Stamford
Staples High's girls soccer team certainly had no trouble generating scoring chances Tuesday, peppering Stamford goalkeeper Alexandra Lemekha with 32 shots.
While it led to only two goals, it was still enough to carry the Wreckers to a 2-0 road victory over the Black Knights.
Freshman Charlotte Rossi scored her second goal in as many games with 26 minutes left in the first half, and senior Lauren Garcia provided an insurance marker with 22:08 remaining in the second half. It was Garcia's third goal in two games as she registered a pair in Staples' season-opening 6-0 victory over Brien McMahon on Sept 11.
The Wreckers' shooting percentage was below what the coaches had hoped -- two goals on 32 shots translates to an accuracy rate of 6.2 percent -- but the Wreckers still dominated possession. Most of the match was played on Stamford's end of the pitch.
However, despite the plethora of shots, coach Heather Driscoll felt that the Wreckers didn't create enough quality chances. She also thought her team actually was outplayed on 50-50 balls.
"We moved the ball," Driscoll said. "I think the chances that we created were not dangerous enough. Give Stamford some credit. They battled, they fought every second, and took away a lot of quality opportunities for us.
"We didn't challenge the keeper. We hit a lot right to her."
The good news for the Wreckers, of course, is that they are off to an 2-0 start and have outscored their opponents 8-0. Stamford dropped to 0-3 and has been outscored 11-0.
"I think (it was a) little bit of a comfort level on our end (and) them out-working us a little bit on their end," Driscoll added. "But it's still good to come away with a win. Games like this last year, that didn't always happen."
Staples goalkeeper Mary Bennewitz finished with three saves, all in the second half. Stamford did not register its first shot until almost 50 minutes had elapsed.
Rossi got the Wreckers on the board when she took a feed from Elizabeth Mitas after getting open in front and flicked a shot past Lemekha, who kept the Black Knights in the contest with 13 saves.
"Ninety percent of their shots were easy saves," Stamford coach Jeremy White said. "We're satisfied that the shots we did give up were not high-quality shots."
Having scored in each of the Wreckers' first two games, Rossi -- one of seven freshmen on Staples' roster -- is proving to be an offensive force early in her career.
"I think all of our freshmen are giving us a really good boost of energy," Driscoll said. "(Rossi) has scored goals when we need them. We're going to look to her a lot this year."
While the Black Knights didn't seriously threaten to tie the match, Garcia provided a much-needed second goal.
Lydia Shaw, another freshman, led Staples with eight shots while Garcia had seven.
Staples returns to action on Thursday when it hosts Fairfield Ludlowe (4 p.m.) in the first of back-to-back homes games. Bridgeport Central visits Loeffler Field on Friday (also at 4 p.m.).
Bob Birge is a freelance writer
Staples 2, Stamford 0
STAPLES 1 1 -- 2
STAMFORD 0 0 -- 0
Records: Staples 2-0; Stamford 0-3.
Goals: Stp -- Charlotte Rossi, Lauren Garcia. Saves: Stp -- Mary Bennewitz (3 saves); Stm -- Alexandra Lemekha (13 saves). Shots: Stp -- 32; Stm -- 3.