Wilton boys soccer team beats Danbury, clinches FCIAC spot

In its final regular-season game, the Wilton High boys soccer team clinched an FCIAC post-season berth.

The Warriors defeated Danbury, 2-1, on a raw, rainy Wednesday afternoon at Kristine Lilly Field, securing the eighth and final spot in the conference playoffs.

Wilton (8-5-3) will now play the top-seeded Fairfield Ludlowe Falcons (13-0-3) on Friday in a quarterfinal game in Fairfield.

The Warriors did not face Ludlowe during the regular season but were 3-1-1 against five of the other teams in the field. Wilton defeated Danbury, Darien and Staples, lost to Greenwich, and tied Norwalk.

Wednesday’s game got off to a fast start with both teams having chances to take the lead in the first minute of play. Both sides were moving the ball up the field, but neither found any early luck in the final third of the field.

Danbury used its skills to methodically bring the ball up the field, while the Warriors sent long balls in deep and put shots on net. However, the Warriors didn’t apply extra pressure by following their shots and crashing the goal box.

Wilton goalie Will DeSantis was up to the challenge and was tested several times. DeSantis kept the game scoreless in the 13th minute when he made a diving save on a Danbury shot that was tracking to the far corner.

In the 19th minute Wilton's Michael Lynch was a half a step away from a breakaway but was flagged for being offsides.

The game remained scoreless until the Warriors finally broke through with 5:59 to play in the first half. Senior Elliot Lipner took a pass from Jack Brandt in front of the Danbury net and drove it past the keeper for the 1-0 advantage.

With Wilton ahead 1-0, the skies opened up and the heavy rain started, making for an interesting final 40-plus minutes.The Warriors came out in the second half and didn’t sit on their lead. They kept the pressure on in the offensive zone, looking to up their advantage.

The hard work paid off with 16:01 left in the game. Brandt tallied his team-leading ninth goal of the season, as his corner kick found the far corner of the net. His shot hit off a Danbury player in front of the net and bounced in for the 2-0 lead.

Danbury wasn’t going to go quietly and got one goal back with 10:09 left, as Grimaldo DeSousa scored for the Hatters to cut the Warrior lead to 2-1. The visitors kept the pressure on right until the final horn but weren't able to get the tying goal.