Girls soccer: Warriors suffer third straight shutout loss
So far this season the math is simple when it comes to the Wilton High girls soccer team.
Score and you win. Don’t score and you lose.
The Warriors opened the season with three victories, outscoring those opponents 6-0. Over the next three games Wilton has not been able to muster a goal, on its way to losing all three games.
The Fairfield Warde Mustangs came to Kristine Lilly Soccer Field on Monday and was the latest team to shut out the Warriors, 1-0, putting Wilton’s record at .500 at 3-3.
“We’re not doing the little things that it takes to win,” said Wilton head coach Renato Topalli. “We need to come out and show some mental and physical toughness. We’re being out-mustered and we need to push back. We need to up our intensity and play with fire in our eyes. We also need to execute better on both offense and defense and cut down on our mistakes. The goal they scored was because we didn’t clear the ball in front of the net.
“We have a young team and we are still working for the best system for our players. We, too, as coaches need to do a better job in putting them in a position to win.”
Wilton took the opening kick but quickly turned the ball over to the Mustangs, who put a shot on net in the first minute of play.
The Warriors had a chance to get on the board in the ninth minute of the game. Senior Paisley Eagan tracked down a loose ball deep in the Warde end of the field. Eagan lofted her pass to the middle of the goal box, but it was too high to connect with Lindsay Groves’s head. The ball fell to the foot of Elizabeth Connolly, but her shot sailed high.
The Mustangs were putting forth good offensives runs as compared to the home team, but had nothing to show for their efforts.
That changed in the 18th minute when Lauren Tangney banged her shot off the crossbar into the Wilton net for the 1-0 Warde lead. It was the Mustangs’ third shot attempt in the sequence, as the Warriors failed to clear the ball from the far post. The first two shots were saved by Wilton keeper Taylor Floyd, but the ball was loose at the other end on the goal, with no one marking Tangney.
In the 21st minute the Mustangs again were attacking the Wilton net, but Floyd jumped up to make the save and corral the ball. However, on the play Floyd collided with a Mustang player and went down with an injury and wouldn’t return. Senior Covadonga Perez Pelaez came on for the injured Floyd.
In the 28th minute Eagan dribbled past several defenders and centered the ball to Groves, but she couldn’t manage a quality shot on the play.
“We seem to be playing more not to lose than we are to win,” said Eagan. “We have several first-year varsity players that have to adjust to the speed and more aggressive style of play at this level. I remember it took me awhile when I started on varsity. We seem to be bonding better as a team, but we have to execute what the coaches ask us to do and the players have to be accountable for their play.”
Warde had two more chances for goals on similar sets in the game where the Warriors failed to cover the back post, but none of the Mustangs could get a foot on the ball. One of those chances came in the 45th minute, but the shot hit the post and not the back of the net.
With just over 15 minutes left in the contest, the Mustangs looked to ice the game with a penalty kick. after Wilton was called for a handball in the goal box. Teresa Andres placed the ball on the penalty shot spot and drilled a low shot to the left of Perez Pelaez, who dove to the ground and smothered the shot to keep it a one-goal game.
The save put new life in the Warriors. Less than a minute later they pushed the ball up the field looking for the game-tying goal, but Sophia Sudano’s hard shot hit the crossbar, ending the Warriors’ chance for the tie.
Wilton looks to get back to its winning ways on Thursday at home against Darien. Game time is scheduled for 4.