Late goal gives Ridgefield win over Wilton
With a victory over an arch-rival last Wednesday afternoon, the Ridgefield girls soccer team stayed undefeated this season. But the Ridgefield players displayed little excitement as they left their home field.
The 2-1 win over Wilton came with a scare for the Tigers, who gave up a late goal before scoring an even later goal to get the victory.
“[Wilton] came out with more energy in the second half,” Ridgefield head coach Iain Golding stated. “They began competing more and the game became more aggressive, but our character and determination won out in the end.”
The Tigers didn’t need any late dramatics in their next two games, a 4-0 win over Westhill on Friday and a 5-0 triumph over Danbury on Monday.
With those road victories, Ridgefield completed an unbeaten regular-season (13-0-3). The Tigers will begin defense of their conference title when they host an FCIAC quarterfinal contest (opponent to be determined) on Friday.
In last Wednesday’s game, Ridgefield rode a strong defensive performance (led by Alex Kinkead) in the opening half to keep Wilton scoreless. Ridgefield took a 1-0 lead when Julia Bragg converted a free kick from Tasha Riek with 12 minutes left before the break.
“Tasha’s kick missed the center defenders and gave me the perfect shot,” Bragg said. “We settled into the game and found our rhythm after that, which really helped in getting that second goal so quickly after theirs.”
Wilton’s second-half response was one of determination, as the Warriors amplified their play with a newfound level of aggression.
Off a long shot from the left side, Ridgefield goalie Kelly Chittenden made the initial save, but Wilton’s Ashley Carbonier was ideally placed to convert the rebound and tie the score with four minutes left.
The celebrations were short lived, however, as the Tigers needed only two minutes to go back ahead. Caitlin Slaminko’s header off a set piece deflected off Wilton goalie Erynn Floyd and into the net, giving Ridgefield its 2-1 victory.
“We didn’t want to tie at home, but rather just put this one away,” Kinkead said. “That determination and the frustration with their goal practically willed us to get it back.”
Notes: Chittenden finished with eight saves in goal for Ridgefield. Floyd made 13 saves for Wilton.