Boys soccer: Late rally comes up short as Wilton falls to Tigers 2-1

The Wilton High boys soccer team scored a goal with 6:11 remaining in the game to cut the Ridgefield Tigers lead in half, but couldn’t get the equalizer as it fell to the Tigers, 2-1, on Thursday afternoon at Kristine Lilly Soccer Field.

Ridgefield (8-2) entered the game on a seven-game win streak, outscoring its opponents 21-1 in those games, so Wilton knew it was in for a battle.

“Ridgefield is this school’s big rival and I felt that our team would have no problem getting up for the game,” said Wilton head coach Jim Lewicki. “But we didn’t match their intensity like I thought we would. I got 100% from a lot of players today, but overall we lack player discipline and we continue to not apply what we go over in practice. We committed too many off-sides infractions and we are not making the connections of the offense to score.”

The loss ended Wilton’s unbeaten streak at four in a row (three wins and a tie) and dropped the Warriors’ record to 3-4-2.

The Tigers jumped out to an early lead on a goal by James Siano in the third minute of the contest. Siano found himself one-on-one with a Wilton defender and was able to put a move on him to get by and pounded his shot into the goal for the 1-0 lead.

Ridgefield had a chance to up the lead in the 16th minute but Alex Lust’s left-footed shot hit the elbow of the post and crossbar of the goal.

Ridgefield padded its lead with 7:39 left in the first half when Andrew Conte’s corner kick found the head of Sam Atterbury for the 2-0 score.

Wilton was showing a lot of hustle and spirited play in the first half, but couldn’t mound any sustained offensive pressure as the Tigers’ back line did a good job in support of their goalie Raymond Dearth.

In the second half the Warriors did a better job in their offensive zone but had a hard time getting a shot on net.

Siano had a chance for his second tally of the game but Warrior goalie Tyler Smith stopped his point-blank shot to keep the score at 2-0.

Smith recorded 10 saves in the game.

The Warriors finally got on the board late in the second half on a goal by Chase Connolly. Ridgefield’s goalie, Dearth, came out to defend John Brown to the left side of the goalie. Brown passed the ball to Connolly at the far post and Connolly tucked his goal into the near corner.

With Wilton now down by one goal and the clock ticking, the Warriors stepped up their play looking for at least a tie. But their effort fell short and the Tigers headed home with the 2-1 win and their eighth straight win.

“We have the talent at every position, we’re just not scoring. We need to finish our chances,” said Wilton co-captain John Brown. “At half time we talked about our play and felt we had what it takes to come out in the second half and beat them. We got more chances and did score, but we didn’t do enough for the win. We need to communicate better as a team and build from this loss, and we need to get on track to make post-season play.”