Girls soccer: St. Joseph tops Wilton in FCIAC finals (updated)
The Wilton High girls soccer team gave it everything it had Wednesday afternoon but still came out on the short end in a 1-0 loss to unbeaten and top-seeded St. Joseph in the FCIAC championship game at Norwalk High.
Jenna Bike’s goal in the 53rd minute, assisted by Alexandra Waizenegger, carried the unbeaten Cadets to victory. Bike, a sophomore, scored with 27:34 left to play in the game.
With nine minutes remaining, a Wilton player was fouled just outside the box in the middle of the field. The Warriors maintained possession of the ball on the play, and Hannah Maatallah put a shot into the corner of the net. But the official blew his whistle to stop play and waved off the goal. The St. Joseph players clearly stopped playing when they heard the whistle. The referee later told Wilton head coach John Salvatore that he made the wrong call and should have let play continue.
Wilton had the better of play and several scoring chances in the first half but could not beat St. Joseph goalie Molly Meehan. The Warriors were out-hustling St.Joseph to the loose balls, and the Wilton wingers used their speed to create scoring opportunities.
"We needed to score first to put the pressure on them,” said Salvatore. “We had our chances in the first 20 minutes of the game but just couldn’t finish. I knew that with the score tied at halftime that they were going to come out in the second half with energy. My hat's off to them; they’re a great team and they had a great season.
"I’m very proud of the way my team played," continued Salvatore. "At the beginning of the season I’m sure no one thought that we would be playing for the championship. We (the coaching staff) brought a whole new attitude to the team and we made them believe that they could be champions. We had to overcome the loss of our goalie and key defender late in the season. The girls stepped up and gave it a great effort."
The loss ended Wilton’s unbeaten streak at 14 games. The Warriors, who are now 13-3-3, had not lost since a 1-0 defeat to Westhill on Sept. 21. Wilton will now compete in the Class L state tournament, which starts next week.
St. Joseph raised its record to 18-0-1 with the victory. The Cadets’ only tie came in a 2-2 draw with Wilton on Sept. 24.