Boys soccer: Warde downs Warriors 3-1

The Wilton High boys soccer team took the field on Monday night looking to get its record to the .500 mark, but the Fairfield Warde Mustangs (4-2-1) ran the field just like their name and downed the Warriors 3-1 at Kristine Lilly Field.

The Warriors fell to 2-4 with the loss.

The game got off to a quick start, with both teams getting chances to get to an early lead.

In the third minute of play, Warde’s Michael Morataya had the Wilton goalie beat to the far post, but his shot was just wide. In the fourth minute, the Warriors’ Ryan McNamara had a direct kick from 20 yards out, but his shot sailed high. And about a minute later, Morataya had another chance to score, but the Wilton keeper Charlie Hess came up with the save.

The Mustangs finally put one in the net in the ninth minute. Jason Deck got deep into the Warriors’ zone coming down the left side. Deck had a Warrior defender on him, but the defender choose to overplay him to the outside and Deck got by him on the inside, giving him an open look at the goal. Deck pounded a hard, high shot that went off Hess’s hands into the net for the 1-0 lead.

In the 15th minute, Morataya had a golden opportunity to increase Warde’s lead as he caught the goalie out of position and had a wide-open net. Morataya shot went just wide of the far post, keeping the score at 1-0.

Wilton looked for the equalizer off a corner kick in the 28th minute. The ball was lofted into the box in front of the goal where Kevin Connolly got a head on it, but the kick was just over the crossbar.

The Mustangs made it 2-0 in the 34th minute on a goal by Michael Porphirnio. Hess came out of the net to attack Porphirnio, but he was able to get by him for the open-net goal.

The Mustangs clearly had more quality scoring chances than the home team, as their team speed created those chances. Several times the Warde players were able to blow by the Warriors’ first line of defense, but the team did a good job clearing the ball out of the goal box.

The Mustangs’ team speed was also creating problems for the Warriors offense as they stepped in front of Warrior passes as they looked to advance up the field. Wilton also couldn’t make that push in the final yards into the box as the Warde defense used its speed to stop the Warrior attack.

The Warriors got on the board in the 53rd minute of play on a goal by senior co-captain Owen Evershed. McNamara played the ball to Evershed just as he was splitting two Mustang defenders. The Fairfield goalie saw the play developing and came out to defend Evershed, who took the only shot he had for a goal, which was to pop it over the attacking goalie’s head for the Wilton goal.

The goal seemed to give the Warriors new life as their play picked up.

“The goal gave our team the belief that we could get back in the game,” said Evershed. “I knew they had a deep and talented lineup coming into the game and that they look to control the midfield area. We have to do a better job in keeping our mental focus and play 80 minutes of soccer.”

In the 68th minute, Porphirnio netted his second of the goal, killing the Warriors comeback hopes. Deck passed the ball to Porphirnio, who sent a bouncing shot that hopped over the outstretched arms of Hess into the Wilton goal.

“I feel the defense played a good game, but overall we keep making too many mistakes and our opponent capitalizes on them,” stated Wilton head coach Jim Lewicki. “We’re a young team when it comes to varsity-level experience and we need to minimize our mistakes. It’s upsetting that it’s taking as long as it has to get things going in the right direction”.

Note: The Warriors came away with a 2-1 win against St. Joseph in Trumbull last Thursday. Down 1-0 at the half, the Warriors rallied in the second half with two goals by Evershed for the victory.