Wilton falls to Tigers in OT
Going into Wednesday’s game, the Ridgefield field hockey team’s last win over Wilton was only a few weeks shy of being a decade old: A 1-0 victory back on Oct. 22, 2009.
Since then the best the Tigers could do was a scoreless tie (in 2014) and a pair of overtime losses the past two seasons.
The two teams went to overtime again on Wednesday, but this time it was Ridgefield that emerged the winner.
After some disjointed passes, Cate Irving was able to get the ball to Aerin Krys, who was alone in front of Wilton goalie Megan Kaeyer. Krys ricocheted her first shot off of Kaeyer but was able to regain possession and score the game-winning goal in the 7-on-7 overtime period.
“We’ve been working at keeping up our tempo and maintaining intensity, and that made the difference in tonight’s game versus the past two years [against Wilton],” Krys said. “Cate’s pass through the defenders was perfect, and I’m glad I was able to take advantage of it.”
In a game that lacked offensive connections, the biggest reason for overtime was the play of Ridgefield goalie Lisa van Gompel, who made a staggering 22 saves to keep Wilton scoreless. Her most important stop came when she somehow rejected Olivia Hahn’s shot as time ran out in the second half.
“Their goalkeeper stood on her head,” said Wilton head coach Mike Pallister about van Gompel. “[She was] very solid back there.”
Kaeyer was also superb in goal for the Warriors, finishing with 11 saves, including stops on several of Ridgefield’s eight penalty corners.
“It’s frustrating to lose after that exciting of a game, but it was Ridgefield’s turn to win this one,” Kaeyer said. “This level of competition always brings out the best in us, and I just hope we’ll see them [Ridgefield] again this season.”
The victory was the fifth straight for the Tigers, who improved their record to 5-1-0-1 and moved ahead of Wilton (5-2-0-1 overall) in the FCIAC standings.
“This was a game we had wanted to win from the beginning of the season, and both our past history and the current standings fueled us from start to finish,” Ridgefield head coach Jessica Smith said. “Tonight was a chance to see where we stand with the tougher teams, and after this win I’m very confident.”