Staples girls lacrosse was flying high after it got star scorer Maeve Flaherty back following a brief suspension and defeated Southington in the first round of the state tournament. In Monday's game against fifth-seeded Glastonbury, however, Flahertys presence was not enough. Staples was eliminated, 11-7, on its home field in the Class L quarterfinals.
"We haven't played like this all season, coach Cathy Schager said. In the two games we lost this year, we never checked in. In this game we were checked in, but we were not executing well on our basic fundamentals. We weren't executing plays and played more as individuals. Also, we had some unlucky calls which were hard to come back from."
Staples had a rough start as Glastonbury scored three straight. Ten minutes in, senior Nicole Seo gave the Wreckers their first goal. And less than a minute later, Alexandra Crofts fired in another for Staples.
After three more Glastonbury goals, sophomore Ryan Kirshner swung around the back of the net to rip one in and give Staples some momentum.
Up until the last two minutes of the half, Flaherty had trouble finding an opening in front of the net. Each time she cradled the ball in her stick, three Tomahawks would swarm around her. With two minutes remaining, Flaherty made an assist on a goal by Seo and slung one in herself.
With 11 seconds remaining in the half, Jessie Ambrose tied the score at 6-6, ripping one in on a free shot.
In addition, senior Kelley Hussey made three first-half interceptions on defense. "Our defense in general played really well, Schager said. In the past few games Kelley has given us a lot. She had some fantastic interceptions."
Right out the gate in the second half, Crofts threw one in to give the Wreckers the lead. That was Staples' last goal of the day as Glastonbury went on to score five more.
Despite these goals, senior goalie Pangiota Tsilfedes made 19 saves. "She played her heart out, Schager said. It was some of the best lacrosse I've seen her play."
Although this game put an end to Staples' season, the girls and coaches have chosen to focus on all they have accomplished. Hussey said, "This was by far the best season I've been a part of and I think we have a lot to be proud of because we did things that our program has never done."
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