Field hockey: Wilton routs Warde in opener

For the Wilton High field hockey team, it was a great start to the season — but only the first step.

For the Warriors, the focus is on where the road ends, and taking it one game at a time.

“We’re all super excited for this season. This is the first game out of many. We’re ready for a long journey back to a state championship and an FCIAC championship,” said co-captain Jillian Mahon after Tuesday’s 5-0 win at Fairfield Warde.

Wilton got two goals from Bridget Ward and one goal each from Mahon, Emma Rosen and Caroline Ferro, as the Warriors dominated the first half and then the last 12 minutes of the second half.

Maddie Duffy had two assists, with one assist each by Gwen Hall, Mahon and Rosen.

Amanda Hendry made two saves to notch the shutout.

Mahon said it was good offensive performance after the team had struggled to score in the preseason.

“We definitely got our jitters out. I thought we all worked super hard. Preseason we weren’t really scoring a lot so this was a great improvement from first day of preseason to now,” she said. “We were all super pumped up for this game. Everybody in school could hear us say, ‘What day is it? Game day!’ We were all really excited.”

Wilton dominated the first half, pushing the action toward the Warde goal for nearly the entire 30 minutes. The Warriors had six penalty corners, and seven shots, over the first 20 minutes, but Warde goalie Olivia Anagnost blocked a couple of shots by Rosen, two more by Ferro, and another by Delaney Chase.

Wilton finally broke through on its seventh corner, with 7:30 left in the first half, when Mahon took the entry feed from Hall and lifted an aerial shot just under the crossbar.

Rosen made it 2-0 with 3:11 left in the half when she won a ball to the right of the goal and put a shot into the left side of the cage.

The Wilton defense — Meredith Rappaport, Molly Thomas, Jess Hendry — kept Warde out of the arc until the final two minutes of the half, with help from midfielders Mahon, Hall and Sophia Kaplan. The forward line also got great efforts by Ferro, Duffy, Susan Clasby and Kat Campbell.

The second half was much more evenly played, with Warde picking up its play in the midfield and getting its best chance of the day with 15:30 left, on a corner, when Amanda Hendry made a save on a blast by Sarah Adams.

The Warriors turned it on over the final stretch, making it 3-0 with 12:18 left when Rosen sent a ball to the front of the cage, where it was tipped by Duffy and knocked home by Ward.

The lead went to 4-0 with 5:32 left when Madeleine Pagliaro sent a ball into the arc, which was redirected toward the cage by Ferro and knocked in by Ward.

Ferro made it 5-0 about a minute later, scoring off a pass from Duffy.

For the game, Wilton had a 14-2 edge in shots on goal and 12-5 edge in corners.

Anagnost finished with nine save in goals for Warde (1-1).