WILTON, Conn. ? Wilton Highs fortunes might have been different Saturday if halves in field hockey lasted just three seconds less. Instead, the Warriors will have to settle for runner-up in the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference championship.
Staples senior Emily Ashken scored the first goal of the title game with just 2.7 seconds left in the first half. The goal proved to be the difference in the Wreckers' hard-fought, 2-1 victory.
I think my team was just banking on halftime coming a little too soon, not realizing 10 seconds is a long time, Wilton head coach Dierdre Hynes said after the game. We learned it the hard way. It takes all 60 minutes ? every single second of it.
Despite the setback, Wilton came out strong to start the second half. Junior Caroline DeAngelis put in an unassisted goal of her own to tie the score at 1-1 less than three minutes into the half. But Staples pulled ahead with 9:55 left in the game when senior Misha Strage put in a goal off a penalty corner to put the Wreckers up for good.
The go-ahead goal was Strages second in the playoffs. Strage also scored the winning goal in Thursdays 1-0 upset of Darien , ending the Blue Waves 93-game unbeaten streak.
It feels amazing, but I couldnt have done it without my team, Strage said. I was just lucky that I got the goal, but my team was behind me every step of that goal.
Saturdays MVP was the Wreckers Chris Leub, who turned in an impressive performance in goal. Shes been the best player on the field for the past few games for us, said head coach Cecily Anderson.
With the victory, Staples became the first team other than Darien to win the FCIAC title since 2006. The championship is also the Wreckers first in the sport since the 1994-1995 school year. Both Wilton and Staples are now awaiting the state tournaments, set to begin Thursday, Nov. 10. Tournament brackets will be announced Wednesday.