Five-goal first half leads Wilton past St. Joseph

Will Hughes converts a penalty kick during Wilton's 6-1 win over St. Joseph.

Will Hughes converts a penalty kick during Wilton's 6-1 win over St. Joseph.

Gretchen McMahon / For Hearst Connecticut Media

The first half of the first game of the season was one for the Wilton High boys soccer team to savor.

The Warriors scored five goals in the opening 40 minutes and went on to beat St. Joseph, 6-1, on Friday at Lilly Field.

Wilton’s win came in the debut of head coach Edwin Carvajal, an assistant the last four years who replaced Jim Lewicki.

“We used the preseason as the foundation of the game plan for our season opener,” said Carvajal, who played at Wilton High. “We worked on it in each practice and the team came out and executed it just as we drew it up.

“What’s going to be the keys to our success this year are that the kids buy into the system, work hard, and execute what they’ve learned. We’re playing a different style than in the past and we’re giving the kids an A and B option as to what to look for or do based upon what they see.”

The Warriors opened the scoring in the 11th minute when Nathan Bennett was left wide open on the doorstep and tapped a Jake Lash pass into the St. Joseph net. The Cadets goalie came out to play Lash, who passed to an unmarked Bennett for the easy score.

Four minutes later, Lash’s long pass went to Owen Lillis, who got past his defender. Lillis found himself one-on-one with the goalie and slotted the ball into the back of the net for a 2-0 lead.

Lash recorded his third consecutive assist by getting the ball to Bennett, who scored on a long shot in the 20th minute, giving the Warriors a 3-0 lead.

“We came out and applied the coach’s game plan, which gave us the lead,” said Lash. “We have a lot of returning players from last year and we played with confidence. We’ve worked hard in practice and worked on set plays, which we used in today’s game.”

Two goals by senior co-captain Michael Zizzadoro upped Wilton’s lead to 5-0 at halftime. Zizzadoro’s first goal came after he got a step on a defender and put his shot past the charging St. Joseph goalie; Zizzadoro’s second tally was on the putback of a rebound following a save.

St. Joseph senior Christian Cinque broke up the Wilton shutout in the 59th minute, lofting a shot over goalie Rishabh Raniwala (three saves).

Will Hughes closed the scoring three minutes later by converting a penalty kick after a Wilton player was fouled in the box.

Notes: St. Joseph used two goalies, who combined for 10 saves.

Wilton recorded 16 shots on goal, while the Cadets had six.