Carbonier leads Wilton past Westhill
Ashley Carbonier provided all the production the Wilton girls soccer team needed Thursday afternoon.
Carbonier, a junior forward, scored the game’s first two goals as the Warriors defeated Westhill, 3-0, in their home opener at Kristine Lilly Soccer Field. The victory was the second straight for Wilton, which is now 2-0-1 this season.
“The coach [Renato Topali] told as to go out and work hard, battle for the 50-50 balls, and keep the pressure on their defense,” said Carbonier. “He also stated that we needed to come away with the win and the three points that comes along with it.”
Carbonier got things going for the Warriors by converting a penalty kick after a teammate was fouled in the box in the 10th minute.
“I didn’t really focus on what the goalie was doing,” Carbonier said. “I just knew where I was going with the kick, stepped to the ball, and tucked it into the corner.”
Wilton controlled most of the first half — holding Westhill to no shots on goal — but was unable to add to its lead.
Although the Vikings had the better of play for the opening five minutes of the second half, it was Wilton that doubled its lead. The Warriors gained possession in their defensive third and quickly moved the ball up the field. Libby Connolly turned the corner on her defender and launched a shot that hit off the crossbar. Carbonier was positioned perfectly near the back post and placed the rebound into the open net for a 2-0 advantage in the 46th minute.
Wilton stayed on attack for most of the remaining 34 minutes, and the constant pressure paid off with a third goal. Sophomore Amelia Hughes split two defenders deep in the Westhill end and used her left foot to put the ball past Viking keeper Niamh Neeve.
The Warriors had several chances to increase their lead but couldn’t get another shot past Neeve. In the final minute, Caroline Hess played a perfect through ball to Sara Schneidman as she split the defense. But Schneidman’s shot rang off the crossbar, denying Wilton a fourth goal.
Topali was more than happy to get all his players into the game. “It’s early in the season and we’re still looking for the right combination of players that work well together,” he said. “This game was a good test for that.
“Overall today we played well collectively as a team; [we] controlled the ball for a majority of the game,” added Topali. “But we are still working things out. I still would like to see one or more players step up to lead the team. We created a lot of quality scoring opportunities but didn’t finish them or were off the mark with our shots. We came away with the win, but there are going to be games when we’ll need to capitalize on those opportunities.”