Staples field hockey eliminates Fairfield Ludlowe

In falling behind Fairfield Ludlowe in the first two minutes of game action of its opening round Class L playoff game, the Staples field hockey team only had one of two places to go.

Fortunately for the Wreckers, Michele Strage took them up.

The sophomore forward tallied twice as No. 20 Staples upset No. 13 Ludlowe 2-1 in the Qualifying round of the Class L playoffs on Monday at Taft Field in Fairfield.

Ludlowe's Layne Rissolo tallied the only goal for the Falcons as Ludlowe was eliminated from the states.

The Falcons did get on the board first though just 1:55 into the game, Mary Deliberti sent a pass across the circle to Rissolo who beat Staples' goalie Jen Hoets to put the Falcons ahead.

"We came out with a big bang and that was one of our strategies," Ludlowe head coach Cathy Hamill said. "We came out fired up."

However, Staples provided the equalizer 12 minutes later. Strage took a pass from Jessica Davis and beat Falcons goalie Jill Moffett to tie the game.

"When Fairfield Ludlowe scored, it was kind of a wake-up call," Staples head coach Cecily Cowburn said. "We were like `ok we're here let's go'."

"We had some lapses," Hamill said. "We can't afford to have lapses against them."

Ludlowe still managed the majority of the chances, but failed to capitalize. Ludlowe earned nine penalty corners to Staples' four and ourshot the Wreckers eight to five.

"We were there, we thought we had outplayed them," Hamill said. "Everybody had to be on."

Rissolo had the opportunity to put the Falcons back ahead 10 minutes into the second half on a breakaway but was denied by Hoets. Just three minutes later Strage scored her second goal to put the Wreckers ahead for good.

"We capitalized on our chances," Cowburn said.

Cowburn was confident in her squad taking on Ludlowe. The Wreckers and Falcons tied in their only regular season meeting and the Wreckers knew that they could compete with Ludlowe.

"We were excited to get to play them again," Cowburn said. "I felt comfortable knowing about their style of play. I was confident that we could win this game."

Hamill's initial season as coach is now over, the Falcons finished the year 7-6-3-1.

"They worked well as a team, so much more cohesive than the past," Hamill said. "I think we have some good things to look forward to. I'm very proud of my girls. We all think that this was a good year."