WESTPORT — Battling both the wind and a hot-starting Darien squad, the Staples girls soccer team looked like it might be staring down its first loss of the season early on Friday.
But Marlo Von der Ahe’s equalizer late in the first half turned momentum the Wreckers’ way, and Staples went on to defeat Darien 3-1 at home.
“I think everything changed after we got that goal,” Von der Ahe said. “In the beginning, we weren’t playing that well and we let their goal get us down and then when I went in there I was just like, ‘We need to be positive and we just need to pick up our game,’ and we did and we came back and I think we played amazing after that.”
The Blue Wave (8-4-1) had several quality scoring chances early, and finally capitalized midway through the first half when Ellen Harnisch put home a breakaway chance.
But Staples (10-0-3) climbed back in late, turning back-to-back corner opportunities into Von der Ahe’s tally to make it 1-1 at the half.
“It’s frustrating, because we could have been going into halftime 3-nil up,” Darien coach Leigh Parsons said. “We had excellent chances. If we finish harder off those chances, it’s a different game.”
With the wind at its back in the second, Staples looked more like itself and Von der Ahe notched her second of the game 17 minutes into the half.
“We’re just so hardworking and this team is so much different than any other team I’ve ever seen on Staples,” Von der Ahe said. “The fact that we don’t have any losses, it’s unbelievable. Every game, if we go down we just work even harder to win it and tie it and not get that loss on our sheet. We’re just a really hardworking team.”
Just three minutes later, Madison Galley would put the game out of reach, scoring off another Staples’ corner.
“It was our readjustment in the second half,” Staples coach Barry Beattie said. “Keep the ball short, play at the feet, don’t panic, because I think we were getting sucked in, in the first half. The second half we just kept the game simple and worked our way through the chances.”
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Von der Ahe, Staples. The junior tallied twice in the win. Her first completely turned momentum to the Wreckers’ side.
“Marlo Von der Ahe was excellent for us today,” Beattie said. “She reached a new level today on both goals, one in the first half, one in the second.”
“We’re frustrated with things that we’ve gone over that you need to execute,” Parsons said. “But at the end of the day you also need to think that if that team is capable of winning the FCIAC, if we fix what we need to fix, we can too. We’ve been there with the best teams and we’ve been in every game we’ve lost.”
STAPLES 3, DARIEN 1
DARIEN 1 0—1
STAPLES 1 2—3
Records: Darien 8-4-1; Staples 10-0-3. Goals: D—Ellen Harnisch; S—Marlo Von der Ahe 2, Madison Galley. Assists: D—Autumn Smith, Kathryn Ialeggio. Goalies: D—Olivia Maniscalco (9), Jane Keleghan (1); S—Zoe Barnett (4). Shots: D—5; S—13.