Hats off: Eagan's three goals lead Wilton in rout
A first-half hat trick from sophomore Paisley Eagan led the Wilton High girls soccer team to a convincing 6-0 win over Stamford on Tuesday evening at Kristine Lilly Field.
The victory extended Wilton's unbeaten streak to four games, with three wins and a tie. The triumph also got the Warriors (5-5-1) to the .500 mark for the first time under new head coach Freya Coombe.
The Wilton offense actually got off to a slow start as the hosts rushed passes while looking for an early lead. But once Eagan’s teammates got her the ball, she took care of the rest.
In the eighth minute of play, Eagan had her first chance for a goal. Her shot squirted through the Stamford goalie's arms and was heading for the net, but a Black Knights defender stepped in and cleared the ball off the line.
In the 17th minute, Eagan got her first goal as she dribbled in from the wing, weaving by several players for the score following a throw-in from Ashley Vitarelli.
Eagan’s second tally came in the 26th minute on a pass from Karen Brosko. Brosko got past a defender and sent the ball to Eagan, who tucked her shot into the far corner of the Stamford net for a 2-0 Wilton lead.
Eagan capped the first-half scoring with her third goal in the 36th minute, giving the Warriors a 3-0. Ashley Vitarelli sent a long ball pass to Eagan, who was running down the sideline. Eagan took the pass in stride, turned the corner while out-running a defender, and fired a blast past the Stamford goalie, who could only get a piece of the ball on the shot.
“My teammates did a great job in setting me up tonight and made it easy for me,” said Eagan. “We were forcing the play early, but once we settled in everything fell in place.
"As a team we are playing better as a unit and getting good results on our set plays," continued Eagan. "It took us some time as a team to work as a unit and we seem to be bonding together ..."
Brosko’s hard work in the midfield area paid off with a goal in the 55th minute, as she scored on a deflection for a 4-0 Wilton lead.
In the closing minutes, freshman Alexandra Brichkowski raced in from the wing and put her shot just inside the near post to make it 5-0. Sophomore Andrea Benalcazar closed the scoring in the 78tth minute, assisted by follow sophomore Eva Greco.
Hana Previte played the first half in goal for Wilton before giving way to Taylor Floyd in the final 40 minutes.
“The key to our recent success is that the team is playing with confidence and is trusting the system,” said Coombe.“We have young players and players with varsity experience on the team, and we are using a mix of both in the game. This not only helps us now but will help us in the future because the young players are getting quality playing time."
Notes: Coombe deployed substitutes in the second half, and they didn’t miss a beat. She did leave senior central defender Jillian Lauricella on the field to help ensure the shutout.
Stamford dipped to 2-9 with the loss.