Wilton falls to Hand, 4-3, in OT in wild state final
The first three times that Hand went ahead, the Wilton boys soccer team was able to respond with the tying goal. It was the fourth time for which the Warriors had no answer.
Scott Testori’s goal in the second overtime period proved to be the game-winner as fourth-seed Hand defeated 10th-seed Wilton, 4-3, in an entertaining Class L state final Saturday at Dillon Stadium in Hartford.
Five of the goals came in the two 15-minute overtimes, which are not sudden-death.
“The kids fought valiantly. We came up short. Daniel Hand played us well. We couldn’t find that last gear to finish off opportunities,” said first-year Wilton coach Edwin Carvajal, whose team ended the season with a 13-4-6 record. “Little moments of just silly fouls here and there just hurt us.”
It was the fourth straight Class L championship for Hand, which finished the season with a 17-2-4 record. The last team to win four consecutive state titles was Granby in Class S from 1984 through 1987.
Following a scoreless opening half, Hand took a 1-0 lead when Testori scored on a header eight minutes into the second half. Wilton got the equalizer through junior forward Nathan Bennett, who dispossesed a Hand defender and scored on a curling left-footed shot with 14 minutes remaining.
Chris Porte’s goal less than three minutes into the first overtime regained the lead for Hand, but substitute Jacob Lash provided the tying goal for the Warriors a little over eight minutes later, blasting home a shot from outside the box.
“We knew Wilton had the capabilities to score against us. We knew we had to get goals,” said Hand coach Greg Cumpstone said.
Testori, the Southern Connecticut Conference Player of the Year, scored his second goal nine minutes into overtime on another header, putting Hand ahead 3-2.
Off a free kick, Wilton’s Liam McLaughlin answered less than four minutes into the second OT, re-tying the score at 3-3.
But Testori was able to run down a ball and slip a pass to Jack Green for a goal in the 101st minute that gave Hand a 4-3 lead
When Wilton was unable to make another comeback in the final nine minutes of the second overtime, Hand had its fourth straight Class L title.