Hines lifts Warde over Staples
It took every last second for the Fairfield Warde field hockey team to record its first win.
"It was really exciting, especially because our whole team was on top of the circle. It was definitely a complete team effort out there," said Hines, who scored the game-winner off an assist from junior Casey Palmer. "It was just good to finally get one in and finally win again."
It took a clutch second-half comeback for Warde to pull out that win as the Mustangs scored twice in the final 16:17 to rally back from a goal down. Sophomore Darci Byington slammed home the game-tying goal off a cross in the box from Hines.
"I knew that they were capable of it," Warde head coach Jodie Shannon said. "In Greenwich (3-2 overtime loss), in our first game, we were down 1-0, tied it up, we were down 2-1, tied it up. I think that this team can definitely score. That's going to be our advantage this year."
The Mustangs, who were outshot 9-6 on the afternoon, had some chances to get on the scoreboard earlier but were turned aside by Baris. The Wreckers' freshman goalie made three saves, including one on a breakaway.
"She kept us in the game with her saves," Staples head coach Ashley Del Vecchio said. "She really stepped it up for a freshman playing at the high school level. I was really proud of her."
After a scoreless first half, Staples took a 1-0 lead with 21:22 left when senior Shelby Phares moved in alone on the Warde net and deked sophomore goalie Katy Stepsis.
"It's really tough when the goalie comes out and the pads look intimidating. I've seen people at the college level that aren't able to dodge a goalie," Del Vecchio said. "It was really exciting for us."
The Wreckers had chances to take the lead earlier, but they were unable to finish. One of those chances came with 26:07 left in the first half as Phares controlled the ball in the circle, but had it knocked away at the last second by a pair of defenders.
Warde got a strong effort in net from Stepsis, who made eight saves in just her second career start.
"I think that the first half is really where she made the improvement because she had some opportunities that could've gone in on someone that wasn't as quick-moving as she was," Shannon said.
The loss dropped Staples to 1-1 on the season but Del Vecchio had no regrets about how the final seconds played out.
"That's the tough part about field hockey. You could put the stick anywhere and for the goalie to see (the ball), it's hard," she said.
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WARDE 2, STAPLES 1
FAIRFIELD WARDE 0 2--2
STAPLES 0 1--1
Records: Fairfield Warde 1-0-0-1; Staples 1-1.
Goals: W--Danci Byington, Erin Hines; S--Shelby Phares. Assists: W--Hines, Casey Palmer. Goalies: W--Katy Stepsis (8 saves); Jodie Baris (3). Shots: W--6; S--9.