After playing well in a 1-0 loss and a scoreless tie the previous two days against two unbeaten opponents, the Wilton High girls soccer team got a breather Friday afternoon.
Scoring five first-half goals, the Warriors romped past Bridgeport Central, 6-0, at Kristine Lilly Field.
Wilton, which fell to Ridgefield, 1-0, on Wednesday and then tied Staples, 0-0, on Thursday, is now 4-3-2 with seven regular-season games left.
“Both Ridgefield and Staples play a different style of soccer, but they are both very good teams,” said Wilton head coach Renato Topalli. “After our game on Wednesday against Ridgefield, I didn’t know how much energy my team would be able to muster up for Staples. But they came out and showed me their mental and physical toughness and gave me a special performance.
“We wanted to get out early on Central tonight so I could give my starters some rest,” added Topalli. “We have two games back to back next week.”
The Warriors had two good chances to get on the board less than a minute into the game, but Central goalie Daniela Mazo made the save on one shot and the other went wide. Mazo, a freshman, was a bright spot for the winless Hilltoppers, as she recorded 11 saves in the contest.
Sophomore Ashley Carbonier scored Wilton’s first goal in the third minute as she was left unmarked in the Central box. Senior co-captain Lindsay Groves made it 2-0 in the fifth minute on an assist from Carbonier, who passed to Groves as the latter was splitting two defenders for a breakaway score.
In the 11th minute, Groves netted her second goal by going far post for a 3-0 lead. Goals by Sara Schneidman and Kira Howard rounded out the scoring for the Warriors in the first half, giving the home team a 5-0 lead at the break.
Howard assisted on Schneidman’s goal, while Howard’s tally came after she used a dribbling fake to get past a defender.
Elana Alber added the only goal of the second half to complete the 6-0 victory.
Central showed more offense in the second half but the Warrior defense preserved the shutout. Wilton was without the services of senior co-captain Grave Rava, who anchors the back line. Rava was injured late in the Staples game and will miss the rest of the season.
“This is a huge loss for us; she is a team leader in the middle of our defense,” said Topalli about Rava.
Topalli noted the play of several Warriors following the win over Central.
“Our freshman goalie, Erynn Floyd, has shown great improvement in her play since the beginning of the season,” he said. “She has all the tools to be a great goalie; she just needs time in the net.
“(Ashley) Carbonier has stepped up her game as our opponents focus on shutting down (Lindsay) Groves,” added Topalli. “Carbonier creates chances for her teammates and herself in each game. Elizabeth Connolly and Alex Brichkowski have also contributed to the team’s effort this year.”