Field hockey: Wilton blanks Trumbull, 5-0, to advance to semifinals

The Wilton High field hockey dominated from start to finish in Friday’s FCIAC quarterfinal game at home, as the top-seeded Warriors blanked eighth-seeded Trumbull 5-0.

The Warriors (13-1-2-1) advanced to Tuesday’s semifinals at Brien McMahon, where they will play fourth-seeded Norwalk at 6. The Bears (12-2-0-1), who edged New Canaan on Friday, 2-1, handed Wilton its only FCIAC loss of the season, a 2-1 overtime decision.

Trumbull dropped to 8-7-0-1 with Friday's loss.

Wilton held the Eagles without a shot at goal in the game, and had a 15-0 edge in penalty corners. In the second half, Trumbull never got the ball inside the Wilton defensive third of the field.

But after an early Wilton goal, Trumbull managed to keep it a 1-0 game into the second half, when the Warriors’ relentless pressure paid off with four goals.

Wilton’s level of intensity was as good as it’s been this season, with the Warriors never letting up even as their lead grew.

“We’ve been working on that, trying to put out that level of intensity, no matter who we’re playing, for 60 minutes. It has been a work in progress so it was nice to see that it was consistent throughout the whole second half,” said head coach Deirdre Hynes.

Emma Rothkopf led Wilton with two goals and two assists, with other goals by Delaney Chase, Meredith Rappaport and Molly Thomas. Gwen Hall and Sophia Kaplan each had an assist.

Wilton controlled the entire first half, but could only score one goal. That came about six minutes in when Rothkopf redirected a pass by Bridget Ward to the front of the goal, where it was deflected in by Chase.

With 14 minutes let in the half, Trumbull goalie Maddy SanAngelo made a big save when a hard hit from the sidelines by Ward was one-timed by Maddie Pagliaro in the middle of the arc.

The Warriors continued to push the attack as the second half opened, with SanAngelo blocking a hard shot by Emma Rosen, and another shot in the middle of the arc by Ward going wide. Later, a pass by Ward was one-timed by Chase, but the shot was also wide. Shortly after, Caroline Ferro carried the ball into the right side of the arc and put a dangerous ball in front that rolled clear before any Warriors could get to it.

Wilton finally broke through with 21:40 left to play, on a corner, after SanAngelo made the save on a shot by Meredith Rappaport. In the scramble for the rebound, Rothkopf tipped the ball to Rappaport, who knocked it home.

The Warriors made it 3-0 with 16:39 left, on another corner, when Rothkopf sent a blast from the top of the arc into the right side of the cage, with an assist from Gwen Hall.

An aerial shot by Molly Thomas later went just wide, and SanAngelo made a high save on a shot by Olivia Hahn.

Then, after four straight corners, Wilton scored again, with 11:08 left, when Thomas knocked the ball into the cage after a save by SanAngelo on a shot by Rappaport.

Rothkopf scored on another blast from the top of the arc with 5:43 left — capping off a two goal, two assist performance for the sophomore.

The Warriors never let up the pressure, with SanAngelo making a pair of saves late on hard shots from the top of the arc by Jess Hendry.

For the game, San Angelo made nine saves in goal for Trumbull, which got a gritty effort by its defenders, who were under siege all game — Cory Lionetti, Dia Horan, Hannah Cohen, Maddie Buzzeo and Mimi Leonard, among others.

“It was a good first win,” said Hynes. “In the first half we just couldn’t convert on any opportunities. In the second half, more opportunities started to happen, I thought there were a lot more connections, and the chemistry was going well on the forward line.”

Wilton got a solid performance in the middle of the field from Kaplan, who did an excellent job winning balls and defusing attacks, especially in the first half. Ward was also a catalyst — both defensively and offensively — on the midfield line, pushing the attack up the right side.