Wilton has talent, needs goal scorers
With 27 players on the roster — most of them returning varsity players — the Wilton High girls soccer team won’t lack for depth or experience this season.
But with their two top scorers graduating, the Warriors will need to find players who can find the back of the net.
“We have good experience in midfield, and we have good experience in the back,” head coach Renato Topali said. “It comes down to scoring goals. It may be different players every game, or it may be the same player, but we have to score goals to win tough games in the FCIAC.”
After losing in the conference quarterfinals, Wilton went on a run in the Class LL state tournament last year. The Warriors beat Fairfield Ludlowe in the opening round and then upset St. Joseph in the second round, winning on extended penalty kicks. A 1-0 loss to Simsbury in the quarterfinals left the Warriors with a 12-4-3 record.
“We had some injuries that allowed younger players to get on the field and get experience,” Topali said. “That should help us this season.”
Among the returnees is sophomore goalie Erynn Floyd, the starter last fall as a freshman.
“She can be the best keeper in the FCIAC,” Topali said about Floyd. “She has that kind of potential.”
In fellow sophomore Grace Kaplan, the Warriors have another talented goalie. “Grace played in some key games for us last year and did a great job,” Topali said.
Senior center back Olivia Gladstein (All-FCIAC second team last season) anchors a defense that also returns juniors Maddie Wecker and Janet Johnson and sophomore Mia Pepitone. Senior Sophia Scarfi, juniors Ellen Chiappetta, Maureen Campbell, Alexis Castaldi and Madeline Pfeiffer, and freshman Jill Roberts are also vying for playing time.
“We have a lot of options in the back,” Topali said. “We can mix and match and see what works best.”
Wilton’s midfield is also well stocked. Juniors Piper Chase and Shelby Dejana lead a group that includes seniors Elana Alber, Caroline Hess and Sophie Peterson, junior Kaila Scally, and sophomore Amelia Hughes.
Also back is senior Sophie Sudano, who missed last season with an injury. Sudano started in midfield as a sophomore two years ago.
“It’s nice to have Sophie returning,” Topali said. “She is a quality player.”
Up front, Wilton has to replace leading scorers Lindsay Groves and Ally Dejana. Groves, who is now playing at Boston College, earned All-FCIAC and All-State honors last year.
“They scored the majority of our goals, so we have to fill that void,” Topali said.
Juniors Kira Howard, Ashley Carbonier and Libby Connolly are among the attacking options. Seniors Sara Schneidman and Olivia Vitarelli and freshmen Heather Plowright and Emerson Pattillo can also contribute, and Shelby Dejana might also see time as a forward.
“It’s on me and the coaching staff to put the pieces together,” Topali said. “I know we have players who have the potential to create and score goals.”
Notes: Wilton opens the season on Friday (4 p.m.) against St. Joseph in Trumbull.
The Warriors’ home opener is Sept. 19 against Westhill at 4 p.m.