Warde, Wilton battle to back-and-forth tie

FAIRFIELD — Wilton traveled to Fairfield Ward Tuesday as the two teams put their unbeaten seasons on the line in what ended as a 3-3 draw between FCIAC contentders.

Wilton (4-0-2) jumped in front first thanks to a deep shot by Liam McLaughlin, well outside of the 18-yard box that snuck in just under the cross bar.

Minutes later, Warde (4-0-2) took advantage of a penalty kick when Daniel Villalba tucked the ball into the bottom right corner to knot the game up at one.

Before the half could end however, Wilton’s Nathan Benett put his team ahead 2-1.

“I was very impressed with Wilton and how dynamic they are up top,” Warde head coach Justin Ottavio said. “Their offense at this point from what I’ve seen is the most threatening in the league.”

Warde surged back in the second half to take a 3-2 lead on goals by Devin Grenier and Mario Morataya.

“We say here that the measure of a man is how he deals with adversity,” Ottavio said. “We went into half down 2-1, we came back, tied it and then we went up. It was a roller coaster of emotions, and if people can mentally stay in the game then we as a team can come out positively.”

In the final minutes, Wilton’s Michael Zizzadoro toe poked the ball into the net to even the game up.

“We kind of changed up the formation late in the game,” Wilton coach Edwin Carvajal said. “We went down so I had to make some sort of switch so we went 3-5-2, really pushed forward and we came out with at least a point which is crucial against teams that you want to compete against.”

With 20 seconds remaining, Warde was gifted one final chance to score a potential game winner after the ball ricocheted off the goalpost in front of the net, but the shot was mishit and sailed over the goal, sealing the 3-3 draw.

“Offensively we were a danger,” Carvajal said. “We got shots off, three of them went in but we had a few sitters and they did too. Today was a game of who could put them away.”

With both teams in a position to win at different points during the game, neither side seemed particularly thrilled with a draw.

“I think in the end it was a fair outcome,” Ottavio said. “We are just going to move on and play another game and we have Danbury and Greenwich so we can use this as a means of how we can improve. We are not going to dwell on it, the league doesn’t afford us an opportunity to rest. It’s competitive through and through.”