Wilton girls soccer team plays to tie on Senior Night
Ironically, the emotion, fanfare, and excitement of Senior Night worked against the Wilton High girls soccer team at the beginning Tuesday night's game with Brien McMahon at Kristine Lilly Field.
The Warriors got off to a slow start, allowing McMahon to take a quick 1-0 lead just three minutes into the contest. Wilton was able to score the equalizer in the 52nd minute but could not add the go-ahead goal as the game ended in a 1-1 tie.
“This is the hardest [game] for me to coach,” said Wilton head coach Renato Topalli. “All the pregame ceremonies and emotions of Senior Night always seem to take the players' concentration off the game. We didn’t have our focus on the field and we made some costly early mistakes and they made us pay for them.”
The result left the teams in the same places in the FCIAC overall standings. McMahon is seventh with a 7-3-4 record, while Wilton is eighth with a 7-3-3 mark. The top-eight teams make the conference playoffs.
McMahon's early goal came from sophomore Kailynn Ortiz, whose shot found the back of the net off a perfectly played corner kick into the box. It was the first goal scored against Wilton in six games.
“They (the Senators) worked hard for their goal, but we had several chances to clear the ball and we didn’t,” said Topalli.
McMahon had a chance to go up 2-0, but a long direct kick by Peyton McNamara hit the crossbar and went out of harm’s way.
After mustering only two shots on goal in the first 16 minutes, Wilton finally went on the attack. Ashley Carbonier made a rush up the wing in the 21st minute, but she had no support on her centering pass. In the 30th minute, McMahon goalie Kayla Cocchia came off the goal line to quell another Warrior scoring chance. And then just before halftime, Ally Dejana ‘s shot went just wide.
Twelve minutes into the second half, Wilton got the tying goal. Alex Brichkowski sent a corner kick into the McMahon box and Dejana was able to collect the ball and send a shot into the net.
With less than a minute left to play, the Warriors had a direct kick in the McMahon end of the field. But the Warriors couldn't covert and the game ended in a 1-1 tie.
“We’re mostly disappointed because even though we got off to a slow start we played well enough to get the win,” said Wilton senior co-captain Lindsay Groves. “We felt we dominated play, created opportunities, but we didn’t have that fire in our eyes for the entire game and that’s what it takes to come away with the win.”
“As a coach I’m disappointed, and I’m disappointed for the team,” said Topalli. “I feel that we had the better of play tonight and deserved more than just a tie.”