WESTPORT, Conn. One wild play just might have turned the season around Wednesday for Staples girls soccer. An increasingly frustrating game was slipping toward what looked like the Wreckers third straight loss. After missing a penalty kick with 11:35 to play and five point-blank shots late in the first half, it seemed like nothing would go the Wreckers way against Greenwich.
Trailing 2-1 late in the game, desperate times called for desperate measures by Staples. The Wreckers were awarded a free kick from 40-yards out with 1:37 to play. Head coach Nikki Ross decided to pull senior goalkeeper Jesse Ambrose out of the net and up on offense.
Alexandra Weiner booted the ball into the waiting scrum in front of the net. Of all possible players, it was Ambrose who got just enough of her head on the ball to slightly redirect the shot past Greenwich keeper Maddie Graham. Staples escaped with a point and a 2-2 tie.
I think the last time I scored a goal was 8th grade, Ambrose said. There was no point in holding back because we were going to lose anyways if we didnt score on that play. Alex placed it perfectly and I got a piece of my head on it. Thats all you need sometimes.
With Staples trailing 1-0, Turner Block finally broke through the Greenwich defense with a kick-slide goal. Eleven seconds later, Greenwich struck back with the go-ahead goal.
Despite plenty of close calls and 13 shots on net, Staples could not tie the game. The Wreckers thought they had finally caught a break when Siri Andrews was awarded a penalty shot. Incredibly, Graham stonewalled Andrews. Staples still did not give up, with Ambroses equalizer coming 10 minutes later.
We came into the game very positive and wanted to show everyone who we really are, Ambrose said. This game definitely could turn us around. It could have gone any way. We wanted to win, but Im glad we ended up with a tie.
Staples (3-3-2) will try to collect its first win in more than two weeks when the Wreckers travel to Norwalk on Monday for a 2:30 p.m. Columbus Day game.
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