In the fall of 1995, before any of the current student body was born, Staples girl’s soccer reigned supreme as FCIAC champions. For the past 19 seasons the lady Wreckers have been trying to put together a squad strong enough to get them back to the big stage.
Tonight at Tesla field in Norwalk Connecticut the Wrecker’s (10-2-4) drought finally ended as they willed themselves to a 1-1 draw against Fairfield Warde Mustangs (11-3-2), claiming a share of the FCIAC title. While the game was played at a neutral sight in Norwalk it had the feel of a home game as Staples Superfans swarmed the bleachers.
Early into the game the Wreckers set a precedent for a physical style. Throughout the first half, the ball was stuck in the doldrums of midfield as Tia Zajec ’17 and Chloe Rosenfeld ’15 used grit and toughness to get to the ball and play it to striker Charlotte Rossi ’17 .
Unfortunately for Staples, Warde’s defense was prepared for the Wrecker’s attack halting any potential goals. For the Wreckers, captain Megan Root ’15 anchored a defense that silenced a high flying Mustangs offense.
At the end of the first half the score was deadlocked at 0-0 with neither team having a clear advantage.
To start the second half the Mustangs made a very quick adjustment. Warde forced a corner kick and ultimately scored on a header four minutes into the second half. From that point forward the Wreckers took control of the game.
In the later stages of the second half the Wreckers were living inside Warde territory firing shots from all angles. Unfortunately for Staples nothing was getting through as time ran down and defeat seemed inevitable.
All of that changed when, with four minutes left, captain Lauren Garcia ’15 scored a wonder goal from outside the box rejuvenating the Wreckers. Garcia recalls the goal when she said, “I just saw the opportunity and I took it, I wasn’t really thinking.”
While a few more scoring chances appeared the game ended up as an overtime draw, splitting the FCIAC title between the two teams.
Head Coach Barry Beattie described the draw as bitter-sweet when he said, “The kids don’t really know whether to celebrate or not, but they are still champions, they still got this far.”
Garcia concluded by noting how monumental the win was for the girls soccer program when she said, “This win means a lot and it sets the stage for next year and I think we really brought up the program this year.”