Staples rallies to edge Wilton boys soccer team

The new turf field at Kristine Lilly Field saw its first game action Monday evening, but the Wilton High boys soccer team couldn’t christen the opening with a victory.

After falling behind in the first half, Staples scored two unanswered goals to come away with a 2-1 triumph and hand Wilton its third straight loss.

"We didn’t make any crossing passes to try to switch the field the entire game," said Wilton head coach Jim Lewicki, whose team fell to 1-3-0. "We were still slow to 50/50 balls and Staples showed good anticipation as to where the ball was going."

Early play saw the Wreckers putting pressure on the Wilton defense, which held strong to keep the visitors off the board.

The Warrior offense went on the attack in the eighth minute. Michael Zizzadoro collected a long through ball on the wing and got a step on a defender, but Staples goalie Ry Cohen was in perfect position to make the save on Zizzadoro’s shot. Staples failed to clear the ball, and Zizzadoro fired a second shot that hit the post.

In the 17thminute, Zizzadoro and Liam McLaughlin worded a perfect give-and-go play, but once again  Cohen was there for the save.

Zizzadoro’s hard work finally paid off with a goal in the 20thminute to give Wilton a 1-0 lead and its first tally in three games. McLaughlin sent a long pass to Zizzadoro on the wing, and Zizzadoro turned the corner on a defender, forcing Cohen to come out. The Staples goalie tried to take the ball off Zizzadoro’s foot, but Zizzadoro was able to get by Cohen and put the ball in the empty net.

"I was upset with myself that I didn’t score on my earlier chances, so I wanted to get this one,” said Zizzadoro. “Liam (McLaughlin) gave me a great feed and I got around the defender. I tapped it past the goalie and took the left-foot shot.”

The Wreckers tied the game with a goal in the 26thminute. A Staples player fired a shot on net that Wilton goalie Rishabh Raniwala denied with a diving save, but the rebound went to Nick DiMasi, who was there for the put-back goal.

Staples came out of the halftime break launching shots on the Wilton net, but Raniwala made back-to-back saves on the same sequence to keep the game tied.

Staples scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal in the 55thminute, as Patricio Perez Elorza played a direct kick from the wing into the far corner of the Wilton net to put the Wreckers ahead, 2-1.

Wilton didn’t go quietly, though, with the Zizzadoro/McLaughlin combination giving it one more attempt late in the contest. Following a pass from McLaughlin, Zizzadoro's low, hard shot was saved by Cohen to preserve the Wreckers' triumph.

"We came out with more fire, played harder, and won more tackles, but still need to work even harder the next game to get the win,” said Zizzadoro.

“We’re still holding onto the ball way too long and that gives their defense a chance to take the ball away or set their defense,” said Lewicki.“We have to react to what we see and do it quickly.

"One quarter of the season is over, so we don’t have a lot of time to work things out," added Lewicki. "They (the Wilton players) need to think about what they need to do to up their play."