Wilton, Norwalk boys soccer teams battle to 0-0 tie

Coming into Friday night’s contest against Wilton, the Norwalk High boys soccer team was tied atop the conference standings with Fairfield Ludlowe and had already clinched an FCIAC playoff berth.

Wilton, meanwhile, was in more precarious shape, sitting seventh in the standings and looking to remain in the top eight (which qualify for the conference post-season) as the regular season winds down.

The two teams battled from the opening whistle to the final seconds on Wilton's Senior Night at Kristine Lilly Field, with the contest ending in a 0-0 draw, giving each side one point for the tie.

Wilton (7-4-3) now has 24 points and is three points ahead of eighth-place Fairfield Warde in the conference standings.

"Three points would have helped our playoff chances more, but we did come away with a point,” said Wilton head coach Jim Lewicki. “Getting a point was important, but what was more important is that the game showed that if we play with the energy and focus like I know we can then we can play with any team in this league.

"Tonight’s game was a great confidence builder and my team played a tremendous game," added Lewicki. "I got a great effort from the seniors I started on Senior Night that don’t see a lot of playing time. We played 23 kids in tonight’s game and whoever I put in, we didn’t lose a step."

Early in the game the action was mainly in the midfield area. The Warriors were the first team to get a shot on net, which didn’t come until the 15th minute of play. The Bears didn’t get their first shot on goal until the 23rd minute.

The Wilton back line had to be on its toes not to dive in on attacking Norwalk players, who had the speed to go by them. But led by co-captains Patrick Prinner and Matt Ravichandran, the Wilton defense was up to the challenge.

In the first half, Wilton did have more scoring chances. In the 23rd minute Aaron Breene made a deep run into the Norwalk zone but came away with nothing to show for his effort. In the 25th minute Michael Lynch made a long run up the field and put his shot on net, but the Norwalk goalie came up with the save. And in the 31st minute Eric Pelletier’s shot went wide of the net.

Norwalk (10-1-4) came out of the halftime break and applied immediate pressure on the Warriors. In the 49th minute a Norwalk centering pass in front of the goal almost resulted in an own goal, as the Warrior player helping out goalie Will DeSantis nearly kicked the ball into the net.

The Bears best chance came in the 66th minute when they put a long, high shot on net that DeSantis jumped to reach and punch over the crossbar. DeSantis came up big again with 8:50 to play, as he covered up a corner kick from the Bears.

But the game’s best chance belonged to the home and came with five minutes left to play. David Schneidman had the ball on the wing and sent a long pass into the box toward the far post, where Josh Reeve was in perfect position to receive the ball.  Reeve opted to go far post instead of near post, as he felt that had a better chance for the score; however, his shot attempt went wide.

Wilton had a flurry of chances with less than a minute to play with a direct kick, a corner kick, and a throw-in, but the game ended in the scoreless tie.

“This game was very entertaining and a great confidence booster for our team,” said Wilton co-captain Lynch. “We had our chances, we just didn’t convert them."