REPORT | Poland 1-1 WU19
The Shelbourne defender kept her cool to slot in the spot kick on 57 minutes in the Plewiska Stadium as Ireland started their UEFA Women's Under-19 European Championship Qualifying campaign on a positive note.
Poland, who are hosting these Qualifying Round games, responded to Stapleton's goal on 62 minutes when Magdalena Sobal levelled matters and that is how it stayed until referee Jelena Pejković blew the final whistle.
In the early exchanges, it was Ireland who looked the more dangerous of the two teams as they pressed up against their opponents and pinned them inside their own half of the pitch for long periods.
While goalkeeper Summer Lawless did pull off a couple of saves, Ireland were still positive in their play with Emma Doherty and Jamie Thompson both unloading shots on goal.
Poland showed that they were able to move the ball quickly and raised their level as they went in search of the opening goal. They thought that they had scored it following a cleverly-worked free-kick, only for it to be ruled out for offside.
It was Ireland who eventually took the lead when captain Stapleton converted the penalty which was awarded following a foul by Kinga Bieszczad.
The home team hit back five minutes later through Sobal and that proved to be the final goal of the game even though Doherty, Eva Mangan and debutant Rola Olusola tried their luck.
Dave Connell's team will next be in action on Friday when they take on Northern Ireland, who lost 5-1 to France in the other game in Group 5.
Poland: Kinga Seweryn; Martyną Cygan, Kinga Bieszczad, Urszula Onoszko, Martyną Gasiorek (Luiza Kozielska 77); Julia Jedrzejewska, Oliwią Domin (Magdalena Dąbrowska 70), Nadia Krezyman; Oliwia Katowicz, Magdalena Sobal, Patrycja Kozarzewska (Natalia Rohn 70).
Republic of Ireland: Summer Lawless; Melissa O'Kane, Kate Thompson, Jessie Stapleton, Tara O'Hanlon; Sophie Morrin (Orlaith O'Mahony 46), Scarlett Herron, Jamie Thompson (Abi Tuthill 83), Eva Mangan, Lia O'Leary (Rola Olusola 64); Emma Doherty.
Referee: Jelena Pejković (Croatia).