Staples and Ridgefield girls soccer open season with another tie

WESTPORT — It does not take much digging to find that the Ridgefield and Staples girls soccer programs have been the class of the FCIAC and for that matter, the state the last few years.

In the 2018 Class LL State Championship game, Ridgefield beat Staples and then both teams reached the state semifinals in 2019.

Ridgefield won the FCIAC in 2018 and Staples took it home in 2019 with the two sharing the regular-season title last season.

Last season with little to play for with FCIAC and state playoffs canceled the two rivals tied their two regular season contests.

This season with championships to once again play for, the teams come into 2021 with a renewed focus.

Of course, that did little to change the fact that the teams once again ended in a tie on opening day of the new season, walking off of Wakeman Field 2-2.

It was the fifth-straight regular season tie between the schools.

The game originally was scheduled for Ridgefield but with Tiger Hollow in the process of being re-turfed, the game was moved to Westport.

“It was supposed to be our home game and we came down to play them at Staples. That shows our mentality for the season,” Ridgefield coach Adam Sebastian said. “We knew it was going to be a grind as always. Unfortunately, we gave them too many chances on set pieces. But we reacted well and came back at them and put another one in, that’s our mentality.”

Ridgefield scored less than five minutes into the game with Julia Bragg finding space in the box and firing the shot home.

Staples would answer off a corner kick 13 minutes later.

Maddie Sansone sent the ball into the box off the corner and Samantha DeWitt was there to head it into the goal.

“Our team is so good in the air. That’s one of our biggest strengths,” Sansone said. “Always I am looking for Gabby’s head, Coco’s head, Sammy’s head and one of them is always there. That is one of the biggest assets of our attack. It’s super fun too!”

In the second half, Sansone sent in another corner kick, this one found the head of Coco Crombie, who got it past the keeper following a hard head-on-head collision between a Ridgefield defender and Staples forward on the initial kick.

“We are good on set pieces. We always cause trouble. I kind of wish we had done a little more off some of them,” Staples coach Barry Beattie said. “I didn’t see the ball go in on the second one. I saw the head collision and I just took off running because I thought she was so badly hurt. Didn’t see it go in the net and didn’t know who scored. I just saw both girls go down and was so terrified about head injures because we had such a bad head injury on a similar play last year.”

Both players left the game following the collision but the Ridgefield player did not return.

Ridgefield got the equalizer with 28:32 to play with freshman Maya Blackman getting loose and converting in the box.


Maddie Sansone, Staples. Sansone had the two assists on the corner kicks and was instrumental in Staples controlling the ball for the majority of the second half.


“We lost five starters and have some younger girls on the team but I think we are going to have a really good season considering how we played today,” Ridgefield senior Julia Bragg said. “We had to work for each other. We played for the girls who were hurt on the sideline. We knew we needed to wake up and equalize it because we don’t like losing.”; @EricsonSports




Scoring: S—Samantha DeWitt 1g; Coco Crombie 1g; Maddie Sansone 2a. R—Julia Bragg 1g; Maya Blackman 1g

Goalies: S—Camille Kolek 8 saves; R—Riley Keane 6 saves

Records: S 0-0-1; R—0-0-1