Girls soccer: Groves scores twice as WHS tops Central 3-0

For the second game in as many days the Wilton High girls soccer team picked up a 3-0 shutout victory.

Thursday’s win came against Bridgeport Central at Kristine Lilly Field. The Warriors were coming off a 3-0 win at Greenwich on Wednesday.

The Warriors are now 3-1-1 on the season and will travel to Fairfield to face Warde on Tuesday and Ludlowe on Thursday.

Anytime you get a win it’s good, but Wilton head coach Renato Topalli was hoping his team could have put the game away sooner so he could give his starters a rest and get some playing time for his bench players.

“We needed to play smarter today. We made the game harder on ourselves than we should have,” said Topalli. “We had a tough battle yesterday and the plan was to get most of our starters out of the game as soon as we could, but we didn’t have the lead that I wanted to do that. It’s a long season and we have three games next week.”

Although Central took the opening face-off, the Warriors stepped in and stole the ball and put a shot on net in the first 30 seconds of the game to set the pace of the match.The home team kept up the early pressure and it finally paid off in the eighth of play. Ally Dejana’s close-range goal gave the Warriors the 1-0 lead.

Wilton totally dominated the action, as the Hilltoppers didn’t bring the ball across the midfield stripe until the 11th minute of play. Wilton’s midfielders, that consisted of Zoe Lash, senior co-captain Brady Faria, Rebecca Wistreich and Sophia Sudano, roamed the midfield area and picked up the loose balls or stepped in front of the Central passes to keep the ball in the attack zone.

The Warriors upped their lead to 2-0 in the 12th minute when Lindsey Groves and senior co-captain Ashley Vitarelli played the give and go perfectly. Groves carried the ball past the midfield stripe and played the ball to Vitarelli and when the Hilltoppers defense looked to shut down Vitarelli, she passed it back to Grove, who was one-on-one with Central keeper. Groves picked her side and put the ball into the net.

Central did get off some long range shots on net, but nothing that couldn’t be handled by the Warrior defense and routine saves by the goalie Taylor Floyd.

Wilton carried the 2-0 lead into the halftime break.

It was clear that the Warriors didn’t come out with the same fire and intensity it had in Saturday’s game against St. Joes. But Faria was not one of those players.

“We had a hard-fought battle yesterday against Greenwich and I think that was the reason we were a little off our game today,” said Faria. “I try to motivate my teammates, but sometimes after a tough game it takes a bit to recover.”

Faria added how the team is responding to its first-year head coach.

“The coach keeps things simple and stresses fitness. They push us to be better and believe in us. They bring a positive attitude to the practices and to games.”

Wilton opened the second half with a score coming in the second minute of the half. Faria had a free kick on the Wilton defensive side of midfield. She lofted a long ball down the center and found Grove splitting two Central defenders. This time Groves what high with her shot into the back of the net for the 3-0 advantage.

With less than ten minutes left in the contest, Lauren Chiappetta had a chance to grow the Wilton lead, as she had the goalie beat, but her shot hit off the goal post. The ball came right in front of the goal, but there were no Warriors there to put in the rebound.