Staples holds off New Canaan in field hockey
Published 2:20 pm, Wednesday, September 28, 2016
NEW CANAAN — Two things happened early in the field hockey matchup between New Canaan and Staples Tuesday that had yet to be seen so far this season.
The first, Staples gave up a goal, the second the Wreckers actually trailed in a game.
What stayed constant however was the Wreckers pulling out the win, a 2-1 final on the road to improve to 8-0 on the season.
New Canaan took the lead in the 15th minute on a penalty corner strike from sophomore Meghan Mitchell — Staples had outscored its opponents 50-0 up until that point.
The Wreckers responded seven minutes later when Christine Taylor converted on her own penalty corner when a cross ball found her stick and she was able to send it home.
Taylor would add the game-winner with just under nine minutes remaining in regulation, again on a penalty corner, this time off a rebound.
“We got the corner and we performed well on our first corner and I thought, ‘This could be it,’ ” Taylor, a junior captain, said. “One of our girls shot the first one, it got deflected off the goalie and I happened to be right there to put it in.”
New Canaan’s offense struggled to get going after forward Ellery Baran exited in the second half with a mouth injury, but with just 40 seconds left the Rams (3-3) had a surge and earned a penalty corner.
“That just shows the heart they have,” New Canaan coach Alyssa Havens said. “They’re fighting until there’s zero seconds left on the clock.”
It was the Staples defense that would step up however, knocking away the Rams chance before they could put it on-goal.
The ball then bounced around before New Canaan attempted another shot and a foul was called on Staples as time expired.
The refs ruled the foul occurred outside the shooting-circle, meaning the Rams were not awarded an untimed penalty corner, and the game was over.
“Norwalk last year scored on a short-corner in the last 39 seconds, so you never know how the ball’s going to bounce,” Wreckers coach Ian Tapsall said. “But fortunately we got it done and I was very happy with the result.”
Thus far Tapsall has been happy with every result, Tuesday’s being most special because it proved to him and his players that they could play with, and beat, a traditional FCIAC powerhouse.
“It’s very nice,” Taylor said of the win. “We have a big two weeks ahead of us and we were eager to see where we stand against one of the best teams in the FCIAC and this proved we can play against top competitors.”
New Canaan meanwhile drops to .500 after starting the year 3-0, but the three losses have come to Norwalk, Darien and Staples, which have just one loss between them.
“We can play with these teams,” Havens said. “And the girls know it, so it’s just about going out there and getting better and I think we’ll do that.”
STAPLES 2, NEW CANAAN 1
STAPLES 1 1—2
NEW CANAAN 1 0—1
Records: Staples 8-0; New Canaan 3-3. Goals: S—Christine Taylor 2; NC—Meghan Mitchell. Goalies: S—Bridget Mulloy (1 save): NC—Emily Gaeta (3). Shots: S—5; NC—2.