FAIRFIELD -- Since netting four goals in its opening game, the Staples High field hockey team has been in a major scoring drought.
But just as those struggles appeared to derail yet another game, the Wreckers' attack came alive with just enough time left on the clock to pull out a gritty win against a resilient opponent.
"It was really exciting," Staples head coach Ashley Del Vecchio said. "I was a little nervous, but they picked it up and worked together and we were able to finish."
Lawrence broke a 2-2 tie with 3:59 left off a penalty corner. After inserting the corner, she ran to the net to pounce on a loose ball after Shelby Phares' shot was saved by Ludlowe goalie Riley Thompson.
Just over a minute later, Fair jumped on a loose ball after a whistle and fired a quick shot past an unsuspecting defense and into the back of the cage.
"After the ball hit the defender's leg, no one was playing me so I just brought it from the dotted line to the circle and smacked it in," Fair said.
Both teams entered the contest in a bit of a slump as Staples snapped its four game losing streak and improved to 4-4-0-2. Ludlowe dropped its eighth straight and is now 1-9 on the year.
Scoring goals has been at the root of both sides' struggles, especially Staples, which came into the contest with just one goal in its last four games.
"For a while we were stuck with not being able to score," Del Vecchio said. "We couldn't get any numbers on the scoreboard, so today to be able to come out and be able to get four goals should lift us in the next couple of games."
Despite falling behind 2-1 with seconds remaining in the first half, the Falcons dug in and Meghan Thompson tied off a penalty corner with 17:32 left. The junior corralled a loose penalty corner, weaved around a pair of defenders and poked a shot over the line for her second goal of the game.
"She is one of our most solid players," Falcons head coach Cathy Hamill said of Thompson. "She's a great role model in the way she handles the stick and her skills. The girls rely on her a lot; a great leader."
Staples, however, found another gear late to notch its first win in over two weeks.
"We were definitely nervous and it put us on our heels a little bit," Lawrence said. "But we picked it up and got back in the game. We needed to talk more and play to our strong side."
In a season in which for searching positives has become the priority, Ludlowe has now scored twice in back-to-back games. The Falcons scored just four times over their first eight games.
With only two seniors on the roster, the most severe of the growing pains appear to be behind the Falcons.
"Part of it is to make sure that they are growing even if they don't win," Hamill said. "As long as they go up a notch each time they come out, that's what they are doing. They do not get down because our season has been a tough season. They have been wonderful, they work hard every minute. I see some great potential."
Ryan Lacey is a freelance writer
STAPLES 4, FAIRFIELD LUDLOWE 2
STAPLES 2 2--4
LUDLOWE 1 1--2
Records: Staples 4-4-0-2; Fairfield Ludlowe 1-9.
Goals: S--Sami Bautista, Elizabeth Bennewits, Jackie Lawrence, Josie Fair; L--Meghan Thompson 2. Assists: S--Lawrence 2, Shelby Phares. Goalies: S--Jodie Baris (0 saves); L--Riley Thompson (6). Shots: S--15; FL--3.