Field hockey: Wilton, New Canaan meet in FCIAC semifinals Tuesday

Coming off Saturday’s dramatic overtime win over Greenwich, the Wilton High field hockey team will take on New Canaan in the FCIAC semifinals on Tuesday at 5, at New Canaan’s Dunning Field.

The top-seeded Warriors (14-2-1) beat the fourth-seeded Rams (11-4-2) in the season opener, 4-1.

On Saturday night, Wilton rallied from a 1-0 deficit with under eight minutes left to play to beat Greenwich 2-1, on Meg Cunningham’s goal 1:11 into the second overtime.

The Warriors avoided their second loss in four days to the Cardinals, who handed Wilton its first in-state defeat in last Wednesday’s regular-season finale, 2-1.

On Saturday, the Warriors were in control in the first half, with a 9-0 edge in shots on goal and 6-0 edge in penalty corners, but couldn’t get the ball past Greenwich goalie Leah Hotaling, who made nine first-half saves.

The Cardinals came out strong in the second half and scored on their first shot on goal of the game 6:08 into the half, as Paige Mautner tallied off an assist from Erika Hvolbeck.

Wilton tied the game with 7:12 left in regulation, when Susie Clasby scored on a penalty corner to make it 1-1.

The teams played seven-on-seven in the overtime periods, with Greenwich having some of its best pressure of the game during the first 10-minute overtime. Delaney Baxendale had a couple of key blocks in front of the Wilton goal. The Warriors had three great chances during one sequence late in the period, with Hotaling making a pair of big saves.

The winning goal early in the second overtime came off a penalty corner, as Cunningham was able to beat Hotaling — who had come out of the goal — to the ball and poked it to middle of the arc, where she put a shot into the open cage for the win.

“There’s no way to describe it. It was such good feeling,” said Cunningham. “And to do it for my team, that’s all I really want to do, because it’s our year. I can feel it. Our team, we’re very close and very connected, and I think we can go really far if we really want to.”

For the game, Wilton had 17 shots to Greenwich’s four, and had a 15-6 edge in penalty corners. Hotaling had a tremendous game with 15 saves. Amanda Hendry made three saves for Wilton, including a superb kick save on Mautner’s shot with 8:15 left in regulation to keep it a 1-0 game.

Cunningham said the Warriors never lost confidence, despite falling behind in the second half.

“It took us a while to get a little more connected. We just had to stick together and ride it out,” she said. “We have to keep our minds in the game or else we’re defeating ourselves. I think my team is very good at keeping the confidence within each other and pumping up everyone on the team.”