No postseason for Wilton boys soccer, as Warriors fall to Rams in finale

The mission was simple for the Wilton High boys soccer team in Monday's regular-season finale — win and earn a spot in the state playoff tournament.

But for the first time since 2002, the team will not in the state field, as the New Canaan Rams (4-9-3) defeated the Warriors 2-1 on Monday at New Canaan’s Conner Field. Not even a double rainbow in the sky after a freak sun shower could help the Warriors get the victory.

The Warriors finished the season a disappointing 4-9-3. Going into the season, Wilton head coach Jim Lewicki knew it was going to be uphill struggle as his team lacked varsity-level experience and speed.

“I’ve coached here for 25 years and this is only the third time we didn’t make states,” said Lewicki. “We gave up 33 goals this season and only scored 18. Those stats aren’t going to get you a winning record. We played too inconsistent, game in and game out, and today was one of those games that we didn’t bring our best. It was tough to end the season with a loss where we didn’t play our best.

He continued, “We played our long balls too direct, tried to challenge the defense when we were outnumbered, and had too many passes up the field with no purpose. Sure the coaching staff knew the shortcomings of the team coming into the season, but we felt they were clearly more capable than what they displayed. We can only tell them so many times what they need to execute on the field. It’s their job to go out and apply it.”

Both teams had early chances to open the scoring, but neither team could find the back of the net. The story for the day for the Warriors was every ball played into the goal box found no one in position and no one at all there to fire off a shot attempt on net. Midfield support was nonexistent, as they were slow to attack the Rams net.

New Canaan broke the scoreless tie in the 23rd minute on a goal by Vincent Altamura, who blasted a hard, close-range shot past Wilton goalie Charlie Hess for the 1-0 Rams lead.

The score remained 1-0 New Canaan at the completion of the first half.

With about nine minute into the second half the Warriors had back-to-back chances to even the score.

Wilton was awarded a direct kick about 30 yards. Senior Ryan McNamara took the kick and sent it into the box, but no teammate was there to follow up his pass. The ball went out of bounds off a New Canaan player and the Warriors were given a corner kick. The corner was played in front of the net, but the Warriors didn’t get off an immediate shot.

The ball was loose deep in the Rams’ zone. The Warriors finally got off several shots on goal, but the New Canaan keeper got help from his teammates to clear the ball out of danger.

But the Warriors kept working and got the tying goal in the 51st minute. John Brown’s pass got to the foot of senior co-captain Owen Evershed just as he was splitting the defense. Evershed went far post for the goal that tied the game at 1-1.

The action was up and down the field and both teams were hit fouls, giving each team direct kicks from all over the field.

New Canaan almost forged ahead in the 64th minute, but the shot on goal hit off the crossbar.

But the Rams got the game winner that ended the Warriors’ season with 11:04 left in the game. Hugo Potter beat Hess to the far corner, assisted by Altamura, for the 2-1 final.

The Warriors kept their hopes alive and battled to the final whistle, knowing it was going to take two scores to get into states. But the Rams held the line and came away with the win.