Girls soccer: Sudano’s goal nets Wilton a win on Senior Night

It was Senior Night for the Wilton High girls soccer team, but it was a freshman who stole the show for her senior teammates on Wednesday night.

Freshman Sophia Sudano’s goal with 6:33 left to play lifted the Wilton to a 2-1 victory over the Brien McMahon Senators at Kristine Lilly Soccer Field — a win that clinched at FCIAC playoff spot for the Warriors (10-3-1).

Sudano, who had several earlier chances for scores, stayed focused and determined to find the back of the net. With time running down in the 1-1 game, she took a pass from senior co-captain Paige Gladstein, got the ball to her left foot and away from the defender on her right, and tucked her shot into the corner of the net.

“I rolled the ball from right foot to my left and I saw the far corner of the goal was open and that’s where I went with my shot,” said Sudano. “I was getting a little frustrated that I missed my earlier chances, but it motivated me to keep going and get a goal. It was Senior Night and I wanted to work hard to get the win for the seniors. They’ve helped me a lot and have set a positive example for me.”

Sudano, the only freshman on this year’s squad, was happy that her hard work and determination paid off with a roster spot on the team. Sudano is in the starting line-up and plays most of the game. She has exceptional ball-handling skills, plays with composure and is confident when she goes one-on-one with a defender.

“It’s been a great experience for me and I have great teammates that support me,” she said. “I love the style that the coaches deploy for our team, as it fit my game. The coaches do an excellent job in pushing and motivating us, and give us supportive and positive feedback.”

It was the Senators that controlled the tempo in the first half, as the emotions of Senior Night slowed the home team’s play. The Senators (6-8), who were in need of a win to qualify for states and had an outside chance at making the FCIAC playoffs, played hard the entire game in search of the win.

Both teams had chances to get on the board, but the game remained a scoreless tie until late in the first half, when both teams got flukes goals for a 1-1 tie at the end of the first 40 minutes.

With 4:31 to play in the first half, Marysia Slowik blasted a high shot on net that Wilton goalie Taylor Floyd got a piece of, but it squirted through her hands for the 1-0 Senators lead.

The Warriors tie the game at 1-1 with 2:32 remaining in the half when sophomore Ally Dejana fired a low shot just to the right of McMahon keeper Tatiana Arias, who dove to her right and got a piece of the shot. But the ball trickled under her into the net for the score.

Wilton had a chance for an insurance goal with 5:30 left in the game. Sophomore Lindsay Groves received a pass from Sudano and turned the corner on her defender. Groves fired off her shot, but it hit the near post and the rebound try by Dejana went wide.

The Warriors have two more regular season games and are looking to wrap up a top four FCIAC seed that would get them a quarterfinal home game.

“The FCIAC playoffs could be any teams to win as the league is very competitive, so we have to ready to play,” said Wilton head coach Renato Topalli. “The win tonight shows that the team knows it has to work hard and never quit. We sometimes make it hard on ourselves, but these girls never stop working hard. You have to bring your best game to the field every night. You can’t take any team in this league lightly because they all come to challenge you. Tonight’s game was very emotional for our seniors and it clearly affected our play in the first half.”

Note: Prior to the game, eight seniors and their parents were honored as part of senior night. They were Rebecca Wistreich, Paige Gladstein, Catie Frankel, Brady Faria, Bria Albanese, Shannon Eustace, and twin sisters Julia and Ashley Vitarelli. All seven were in the starting line-up for the game.