Who says a scoreless game can’t be entertaining?
Although neither Ridgefield nor Staples managed a goal in Tuesday’s meeting between unbeaten girls soccer teams at Tiger Hollow, the 0-0 tie was full of intensity and drama.
The game was a rematch of last year’s Class LL state title match, which Ridgefield won, 2-1.
“I thought we worked very hard,” said Ridgefield head coach Iain Golding. “It was a big, physical game, and all of our players worked as hard as they could, and gave everything that they had.”
Ridgefield left the field with a 10-0-1 record and remained unsecured upon this season. Staples, meanwhile, is now 9-0-3.
The match began with Ridgefield under pressure from numerous forays into the attacking third by Staples, although keeper Lauren Castle (five saves) and the Ridgefield backline dealt with those threats effectively
The Tigers eventually found their attacking feet but were also unable to score despite dictating more of the match’s tempo.
Ridgefield’s best chance in the opening half came when Tasha Riek broke away and took a shot that was parried away by Staples goalie Zoe Barnett (eight saves).
The second half began with the Ridgefield defense under pressure. Castle then made a spectacular, acrobatic save on Marlo von der Ahe’s header from right in front of the Tigers’ goal. Staples got to the rebound but sent a shot over the crossbar.
Barnett responded when she deftly turned away a shot by Ridgefield’s Faith Arnold with under seven minutes to play.
“Staples is a really good team, so I think that we came out knowing that we would have to play as a unit, collectively, and everyone play their best,” said Ridgefield junior midfielder Megan Klosowski. “I really think that we did; we really came out and gave a solid performance.”