Strong Start to Season for Lady Wreckers

Aaron Hendel, Staff Writer

Jaclyn Katz and Nicole Brill graduated. Shannon Lesch was hurt. Opponent Libby McNamara was named one of the top 20 girls high school soccer players in Connecticut. Staples had all the excuses to lose going into their season opener against Fairfield Ludlowe. But instead of accepting those excuses, they stormed to a 3-1 victory at Loeffler Field in front of a huge crowd, which included the boys’ varsity team.

In the 8th minute, Captain Abby Fagan ’12 ripped a top shelf goal from about 30 yards out to open up the scoring. From then on, Ludlowe was forced to play catch-up. Possession was constantly in Staples’ favor, as Siri Andrews ‘13 and Fagan simply would not turn the ball over in the midfield. Alexandra Weiner ’12 and Turner Block ‘13 consistently earned throw-ins as well, further keeping ball away from the Falcons.

Coach Nicole Ross was thrilled with the team’s first outing. “It was a really great way to start the season, and just the way they connected on the field was special,” said Ross. The chemistry was obvious on the pitch, as through balls and crosses were not hard to come by.

Fagan’s exciting goal was nearly matched by an overhead kick by Margaret Walsh ‘15 late in the first half, however the shot clanked off the crossbar.

At the half it was 1-0 Wreckers, and they advanced this score by dominating the field early in the 2nd. Ryan Kirshner ’13 saw valuable playing time at right striker, and time and time again she pushed the ball up the sideline to Adele Mackey ‘12. Eventually, Mackey sent in a cross to captain Abbey Lake ’12, who volleyed it in with side of her foot. Lake led all players with 11 shots.

Mackey ended up with a goal as well, receiving a cross from the other side of the field from Block, and heading it backwards inside the far post. The game marked the debut for four freshmen, Lauren Garcia ’15 and Margaret Walsh ’15 as strikers, Chloe Rosenfield ’15 as midfield, and Megan Root ‘15 as a right defender. “They went out with such composure,” said Ross. “Normally freshmen would go out like dears in headlights.”

Also making her first varsity appearance at defense was Gea Mitas ’14.

The depth proved to be a weapon for Staples, and it looks like that could be the case all season long. 18 players got in on the action, and to say Ross was pleased by their performances would be an understatement. “We’re unique. Anyone can come in off the bench and give us some fresh legs.”

Lesch couldn’t be happier from the sidelines. “Everyone did a great job of pressuring Ludlowe’s defense. We really came together as a team.”

The next game for the squad is Thursday at home versus Central at 4:00. Lesch will still be out, but it shouldn’t be too much of an issue if the Wreckers play anywhere close to their opening match form.