Mills scores late goal as Tigers tie Wilton
The Wilton boys soccer team could not have been much closer to a victory over Ridgefield on Tuesday afternoon.
But a goal by Fisher Mills with 4.6 seconds remaining gave the Tigers a 1-1 tie with host Wilton at Kristine Lilly Field.
“We kept playing to the final whistle and it paid off today,” said Ridgefield head coach Phil Bergen, whose team is now 3-7-4 this year. “We’ve played hard all season but have fallen on hard luck in a lot of our games and not gotten the result from our efforts.
“We‘ve hit 17 goal posts this season, and our team is not shooting as much as we should,” Bergen added. “We’ll take the tie against one of the best teams in the conference, but we need wins to qualify for the state tournament.”
For unbeaten Wilton, it was the fifth tie in 14 games this season and the third against a sub-.500 opponent.
“The team played hard for 79 minutes and 55 seconds and in that last five seconds Ridgefield scored,” Wilton head coach Edwin Carvajal said. “It’s time for the team to play hard for the entire 80 minutes and come away with wins, not ties. They have to stay focused no matter who we’re playing.”
Ahead 1-0 with roughly 30 seconds to play, Wilton (9-0-5) had a throw-in from deep in its own end go out of bounds. That gave Ridgefield a throw-in, and the ball quickly made its way to Mills on the opposite side. Mills got a step on a Wilton defender and tucked his shot into the net for the equalizer.
Wilton had a great opportunity for an early lead in the third minute, but senior co-captain Michael Zizzadoro shot wide on a breakaway.
The Tigers’ best chance came in the ninth minute, when the ball was played into the box off a corner kick. But a Ridgefield player couldn’t settle the ball and fanned on his shot.
Neither team could muster a sustained attack, as much of the play took place between the boxes.
Following a scoreless first half, Wilton broke through with a goal in the 64th minute as Karl Pfeiffer drove home a loose ball off a long-range direct kick.
The 1-0 lead held up until Mills scored with time expiring.
“Ridgefield came to play and gave a great effort; we just had a mental lapse in the final seconds,” said Wilton senior co-captain Parker Ward. “We need to not let these things happen again, especially this late in the season.”