Lady Wreckers Fall Without Flaherty in FCIAC Semi-Final

Flaherty's has taken the face off for the Staples Lady Wreckers all season long and her presence in the middle of the field was greatly missed on Monday evening| Photo courtesy of Staples Girls Lacrosse

On Monday the Staples girls’ lacrosse team played in its first ever FCIAC semi-final. The problem for Coach Cathy Schager is that the team’s leading scorer Maeve Flaherty ’12 did not have a stick in her hands.

The junior center was suspended prior to the game for violating CIAC rules and Flaherty’s absence proved to be a devastating blow as Staples fell to the Darien Blue Wave 19-5 at Dunning Field.

The loss was just the second of the season for the Lady Wreckers, however it ended the team’s pursuit for its first FCIAC championship in school history. Darien controlled the game from start to finish as Bryan Gasparino and freshman Dillon Schoen each had four goals in the Blue Wave’s rout of Staples.

Jessie Amrbose ’12 had two goals for the Lady Wreckers, however Staples scored its lowest number of goals all year long. With the win Darien advanced to Friday’s FCIAC championship at Brien McMahon High School against the Wilton Warriors.

While the FCIAC playoffs ended for the Lady Wreckers, the bigger story on Monday night was the suspension of Flaherty. The CIAC suspended Flaherty after learning that the junior had tried out for the Under Armour U-19 New England Regional team last week. Although she did not make the team, Flaherty violated Rule II Article F of the CIAC Rules of Eligibility which states that a player may not participate in a non CIAC event during the season. The governing body of Connecticut athletics ruled that Flaherty’s few hours spent with the Under Armour squad defied this rule.

Flaherty was not the only girl suspended by the CIAC. The Staples center was one of nine girls suspended on Monday and the effects of the ruling were felt throughout the FCIAC. In the other FCIAC semi-final, the New Canaan Rams lost to the Wilton Warriors after three players for the home team were suspended just before game time.

One day after the suspension, the CIAC revoked the suspension of the girls, however all teams involved were forced to forfeit games from the past week. While this decision did not affect FCIAC play, the Lady Wreckers were given two more losses and saw its 15-1 record change to 13-3. The ruling of the CIAC not only knocked Staples out of the number one spot in Class L, but it also allowed Norwalk and Brien McMahon to qualify for the state tournament.