Ridgefield edges Wilton in Central semis
The Wilton girls soccer team saw its season end on penalty kicks.
After 100 scoreless minutes (80 in regulation and two 10-minute overtimes), third-seed Ridgefield converted six straight penalty kicks to edge second-seed Wilton in the FCIAC Central Region semifinals last Tuesday at Lilly Field.
Wilton made its first five penalties before missing on its sixth attempt.
Ashley Carbonier, Kira Howard, Emerson Patillo, Heather Plowright, and Maddie Wecker converted their penalty kicks for the Warriors, but Ridgefield substitute goalie Faith Arnold stopped Wilton’s sixth attempt. Julia Bragg then converted her penalty kick to give Ridgefield the (0-0, 6-5 PKs) victory.
“Our PKs were really good and so were theirs,” Wilton coach Renato Topalli said. “Their goalkeeper made the save that was the difference.”
Arnold, an All-State forward, took over in goal for the penalty kicks after Caroline Vilinskis received a red card for touching the ball outside the box with one second left in the second overtime. Vilinskis was filling in for first-team keeper Kelly Chittenden, who missed the game while recovering from a concussion.
Wilton had a chance to go ahead in overtime when Plowright took a shot that went off the crossbar.
“We had multiple opportunities ... two [one-on-one] opportunities, two free kicks [from the] top of [the] box, hit the crossbar, shots from 10 yards out ... and unfortunately couldn't convert,” Topalli said. “The girls played well defensively and in possession.”
Erynn Floyd made seven saves in goal for the Warriors, who finished the abbreviated season with a 5-3-2 record.
“I thought we made the most of it,” Topalli said about the COVID-shortened season. “Really proud of the girls pushing through a tough season given everything that has happened in 2020 and in the Wilton community recently. We were in the most competitive [FCIAC] region and finished second.”
Notes: The FCIAC Central finals between Ridgefield and top-seed Staples were postponed and then cancelled due to a spike in COVID-19 cases at Staples. The teams were declared co-champs.