Wilton laxgirls turn it on in second half to tame Tigers
What had commenced as a game of mutual tenacity became a routing triumph for the Wilton High girls lacrosse team, as the Warriors defeated the Ridgefield Tigers, 11-7, on Tuesday in Ridgefield.
Despite a profound controlling presence and a 4-3 lead in the first half, Ridgefield eventually succumbed to untimely turnovers and consistent pressure from the Warriors, who broke things open with six unanswered goals in the second half.
Wilton improved to 10-4 overall and 8-2 in the FCIAC. The Tigers dropped to 9-5.
Ridgefield had set an assertive tone from the beginning. The weight of the rivalry brought immediate grit from both sides, seeing three early deflections from Wilton senior goalie Paige Brown. Persistent defense came from the Tigers as they kept the Warriors without a shot for five minutes, capitalizing by a goal of their own from senior Caroline Curnal.
Quick responses and an advantageous draw came from Wilton seniors Paisley Eagan and Eva Greco. Curnal’s second and sophomore Caitlin Slaminko’s two goals could not keep a 4-2 lead, as Greco scored in the final seconds of the half.
“Patience was key for us in this game,” Wilton head coach Meredith Meyran said. “We didn’t have the ball or control in the first half, but we came to take the most of our chances and capitalize when it counted.”
The opening of the second half saw repeated turnovers, and an aura of disconnect paved the way for a goal from sophomore Olivia Gladstein and another two from classmate Sophie Sudano, pushing Wilton to its first lead. 5-4.
The Warriors hardly slowed from there, collecting another three goals before Ridgefield could even make a dent in the deficit on a goal from senior Mae Briody. But four different Wilton scorers kept the Tigers trailing until the buzzer.
“There’s always a different type of energy when it comes to playing Wilton, but they’re a team that will take advantage of our mistakes,” Ridgefield head coach Cece Berger said. “We broke down offensively and ultimately ended up beating ourselves.”
“We’re always very evenly matched with the Tigers, but tonight we were able to trust in our ability,” Meyran stated. “We took our time, and once we got our lead, we refused to let go of it.”
Ridgefield goalie Lexi Held finished with five saves, while Brown had seven saves.
Eagan led Wilton with three goals. Sudano and Greco had two goals each, with other goals by Gladstein, Carly Sullivan, Julia Skillin and Julia Bonnist.
Slaminko finished with three goals for the Tigers.