Boys soccer: Wilton tops Darien with late spurt, 3-0
For the first 57 minutes of the game, it seemed the Wilton High boys soccer team’s best hope was to somehow hold on for a scoreless tie at Darien.
Over the final 22 minutes or so, it was a different story — and a different Wilton team.
The Warriors tallied three goals in span of about 10 minutes in the late-middle part of the second half and that was enough to score a 3-0 win at Darien on Wednesday.
“In the first half we really didn’t play too well. We really picked it up in the second half,” said Michael Zizzadoro, whose goal with just under 22 minutes left broke a scoreless tie. “I think that really changed the momentum of the game.”
Up to that point, the Blue Wave had the Warriors on their heels the first 17 minutes of the second half, with repeated chances and two shots that hit off the crossbar.
Zizzadoro’s goal, off a John Brown assist, was Wilton’s first real foray into the Darien end in the second half.
Wilton has several dangerous pushes before tentative play in its own box nearly led a tying goal, and two corner kicks. Darien had a great chance with 12 minutes left when Wilton goalie Chris Sweeney charged out of goal to block a shot by Noor Ashrifeh.
With the Blue Wave pushing up, the Warriors were able to clear the ball to set up a two-on-one break, with Alec Zulica’s cross setting up Brown’s breakaway goal with 11:30 left.
Wilton needed only 21 seconds to make it 3-0, as Chase Connolly scored at 11:09 after the restart.
The Warriors’ performance over the final 22 minutes was a marked improvement over the first 58 minutes.
“I said some choice words at halftime and made sure they knew where I was coming from. We were lackluster, listless, no communication on 50/50 balls,” said head coach Jim Lewicki. “Once we scored the energy went up. The energy got high and we started moving. It was a totally different game.”
Wilton got a solid performance in goal from Sweeney, who finished with 11 saves. After losing starting center backs Karl Pfeiffer and Ahrav Soi to injury, the Warriors also got great efforts off the bench from Cameron Morris, Ben Lucas and Andrew Bucciero on defense in the second half — as well as many other players off the bench.
“I made a lot of subs. I put a lot of different people in different situations,” Lewicki said. “I gave the opportunity to a lot of kids who haven’t had a lot of playing time, and they worked hard.”
The win raised Wilton’s record to 2-3-2.
“We’ll take this one,” said Lewicki. “We needed it.”
Darien, which had a 14-7 edge in shots on goal and 7-0 advantage in corner kicks, dropped to 0-6-2.