Staples blanks Ludlowe field hockey team
FAIRFIELD -- After enduring a 6-0 loss to Wilton on Monday, the Staples field hockey team didn't want to enter the FCIAC playoffs void of any momentum following a successful regular season.
The Wreckers took out their Senior Night frustrations on a Ludlowe Falcons team celebrating theirs, coasting to a comfortable 4-0 win Wednesday night at a soggy Taft Field.
The win gave the Wreckers a 10-3-0-1 final regular season record and much-needed confidence heading into the playoffs after losing to the then-undefeated Warriors.
"We wanted to come out strong," Staples midfielder Jenna McNicholas said. "Have that fire that we know we have and I think tonight really gave us that."
Staples did come out with fire and began peppering the Ludlowe (4-10-1-0) cage with shots. Ludlowe senior goalie Julia Ennis made a string of saves early to keep her team alive.
"Ludlowe has a great goalie," Staples goal-scorer Elizabeth Bennewitz said. "She's solid stopping shots and clearing. We had to get creative and change up and do stuff we hadn't all season."
The Wreckers racked up 11 penalty corners in the first half and finally broke through with 8:29 left in the period. Bennewitz fired a cross ball that deflected off a Ludlowe stick and into the goal.
Staples doubled its lead with 1:30 left in the half. Rachel Stanford converted a quick pass from Jordan Ragland off a penalty corner that was initially cleared.
The Wreckers struck twice early in the second half to secure the win. Ragland did some excellent work along the end line finding Meg Fay, who hit a high shot into the cage. Less than three minutes later, Skylar Klein converted a goal line scramble into the goal.
"It feels really great, we knew (Ludlowe) would be great competition and it feels great to get a win before FCIACs," Staples coach Ashley Del Vecchio said.
The Wreckers allowed just one shot on goal and zero penalty corners as they maintained possession for long periods. Ennis finished the game with 10 saves as the Wreckers had 18 penalty corners.
"Staples just was a step ahead of us on passing," Ludlowe coach Cathy Hamill said. "I didn't think we anticipated well as we could have."
The Wreckers will host an FCIAC playoff game on Saturday against an opponent and time to be determined. Staples didn't qualify for the playoffs last year and will also be a top 10 team for the upcoming Class L tournament.
"That was definitely our main goal coming into the season," McNicholas said. "We say this is the dream team; we have really high expectations and hopes for FCIACs and states."
Staples 4, Ludlowe 0
STAPLES 2 2--4
LUDLOWE 0 0--0
Records: Staples 10-3-0-1; Ludlowe 4-11-1-0.
Goals: S--Elizabeth Bennewitz, Rachel Stanford, Meg Fay, Skylar Klein. Assists: S--Jordan Ragland 3. Goalies: S--Carolyn van Arsdale (0 saves) Jodie Baris (1 save); L--Julia Ennis (10 saves).