Boys soccer: Second-half goals lift Warriors over Central, 2-0

The Wilton High boys soccer team’s offense came to life in the second half to claim a 2-0 win over the Bridgeport Central Hilltoppers on Saturday afternoon at Kristine Lilly Soccer Field.

In the first half, the Hilltoppers showed that they are a much-improved team from previous years as they outshot the Warriors over the first 40 minutes of the contest.

The Warriors could only manage one shot on goal in the half, which came off a long direct kick in the 22nd minute of play. Central’s play in the first half was well organized and the Hilltoppers worked the give-and-go setup perfectly several times.

“Based on our performance this season we clearly are a second-half team, as again today we put forth a better effort in the second half,” said Wilton head coach Jim Lewicki. “Central has several players with good ball-handling skills and they made numerous runs up the field, but we kept them from scoring. We made adjustments at halftime and our team stepped their play to get us the win.”

Lewicki continued, “If these kids can believe in themselves the way the coaching staff believes in them, that should translate into success. They just have to keep working hard and play 80 minutes of soccer.”

Senior Chris Sweeney got the start in goal for the Warriors and recorded five saves before he left the field with an injury after he collided with a Central player making a save. Senior Tyler Smith took over between the pipes with 13:55 left in the first half and picked up a couple more saves to keep the game scoreless at the end of the first half.

The Hilltoppers had the chance to get on the board first, but the hard mid-range shot hit off the post, as the game remained tied at 0-0.

Michael Zizzadoro’s goal in the 50th minute of the game, assisted by Alec Ziluca, broke the scoreless tie. Zizzadoro’s goal just trickled into the net, as he didn’t get all of his quick shot.

“Alec (Ziluca) chipped an over-the-top pass to me that landed right at my feet. The goalie wasn’t ready for my shot so I quickly hit it with my left foot, but I only got the tip of my toe on it, but it was enough to get over the line,” said Zizzadoro. “Even though we haven’t finished or capitalized on our opportunities in games earlier this season, we’ve stayed focused in our effort to put the ball in the net.”

Zizzadoro was commenting on fact that the team had 15 shots on goal against Trinity Catholic game and only came away with a 1-0 win earlier in the week. In today’s game, the Warriors score their two goals on just six shot on net.

Wilton increased its lead to 2-0 with 8:40 to play on a goal by Josh Bender, assisted by Ziluca. Bender had a time to settle the direct kick from Ziluca and send a low shot into the net.

The Warriors were forced to play the final 6:15 of the game a man short as Ziluca picked up his second yellow card of the game. But the Warriors defense held tough and stayed disciplined to preserve the shutout.

The Warriors improve to 4-4-2 on the season while the Hilltoppers fell to 3-3-4.

Wilton is back on the field Tuesday night at 7 to face the Trumbull Eagles.