Wilton girls soccer team beats Barlow, advances to state quarterfinals
Sophomore Rebecca Hersch scored the lone goal with 8:29 to play in the first half as the Wilton High girls soccer team came away with a 1-0 win over sixth-seed Joel Barlow in a Class L state tournament second-round game Wednesday in Redding.
Wilton, the 11th seed, will now play third-seed Branford in the quarterfinals on Friday at 2 in Branford.
Following a foul on Barlow, Wilton freshman Ashley Vitarelli sent a direct kick from the wing toward the net. A player from each team jumped up to head the ball, but it hit off the body of the Barlow player and fell right at the foot of Hersch, who was waiting on the door step. Hersch popped her shot over the goalie's head for the game's only score.
The Warriors (15-3-3) were loose, confident and extremely focused, and when those elements are working in harmony, the Warriors are not going to be outplayed.
It was clear early on that the Warriors were going to have to up their level of physicality to match Barlow's style of play . No problem when you have Lindsay Knutson and Hannah Maatallah working the midfield, and Bridget Dwyer, Makenna Pearsall and Casey Tucker tracking things down on defense.
“This team has great chemistry and they have bought into our system. The whole team plays at a consistent level and that's what we got today,” said Wilton head coach John Salvatore. “We did a good job in challenging the ball today. It was a great win for us. I am very happy to get by this team (Barlow) today.”