Field hockey: Wilton blanks Staples, 1-0

Delaney Chase’s goal with two minutes left in the first half proved to be the difference, as the Wilton High field hockey team bounced back from Saturday’s loss to Lakeland with a 1-0 win over Staples on Monday at home.

The goal came off a penalty corner, after Jillian Mahon attempted an aerial shot that landed in front of the goal and was knocked in by Chase after a scramble.

The Warriors (5-1) dominated play in the second half, and other than a couple of good chances by Staples early in the half, never let the Wreckers get the ball over the midfield line.

The Wreckers had several good scoring chances in the first half, but Wilton goalie Amanda Hendry made some big stops — and defender Molly Thomas made a timely clear in front of the goal — to keep it even.

“In the beginning I think we were a little nervous just because we knew they had a really good record. We weren’t capitalizing on opportunities we had to earn corners,” said Mahon. “We definitely worked a lot harder in the second half to come up with the win.”

“They definitely stepped up their game in the second half. I told them the most important thing they’ve done now is they learned from Lakeland and they learned from this first half,” said Coach Deirdre Hynes. “We’re going to have to take it in stages this season. We know things aren’t going to happen overnight. But at least if we take pieces of games, from the Lakeland loss to the first half, where we might not have started off the way we wanted to, and start changing, and working a little more together and make improvements where we need to, eventually all that will come together by November.”

Hendry, who finished with five saves, was the key to keeping Wilton in the game in the first half.

“She was tested a lot of Saturday and today, and I think that kind of woke up our defense, too, not to take certain situations for granted. You can’t let down even for 30 seconds or temporarily because that could turn into a corner, which for some teams is an automatic goal,” said Hynes. “We can’t let those opportunities happen.”

“Amanda Hendry is one of the best goalies in the country. She is so great. She really kept us in the game,” said Mahon. “We just battled through.”

It was the first loss of the season for the Wreckers, who dropped to 4-1-1.

“The thing with our side, they’re pretty young. We’ve got a lot of sophomores on the team. The majority of them are really good, quick athletes. We just have to teach them the proper basics of hockey,” said Staples Head Coach Ian Topsall. “But our forte is speed in their half. Once we get in their half, I think we can compete with anybody. And I think you saw that in the first half, we got a couple of things going. I think in the second half, Wilton’s got infinitely a lot more skill and experience as a team than we have, and what I think they did was sort of negated the plays we meant to be playing and started playing the way they wanted to play.”

Jodie Baris also had a strong game in goal for Staples, with five saves.

Wilton finished with a 7-4 edge in corners.