Boys soccer: Ridgefield tops Westhill, 5-1
Getting two goals apiece from senior forwards JT Siano and Lucas Debarbieri, the Ridgefield High boys soccer team routed Westhill, 5-1, on Friday afternoon at Tiger Hollow.
The victory was the second in three days for Ridgefield, following a 1-0 road triumph over Norwalk on Wednesday. With 34 points, the Tigers (11-3-1) are first in the FCIAC overall standings and can clinch the top seed for the conference playoffs by beating Fairfield Warde next Monday.
Ridgefield took a 1-0 lead over Westhill in the sixth minute, as Christian DeVivo volleyed home a corner kick from Alex Glass. From the next 20 minutes, the Ridgefield offense appeared muted as the backlines of both teams took over the tempo, keeping the ball mainly in midfield.
With 13 minutes remaining in the opening half, Siano broke through with a brilliant run, beating two Westhill defenders on the left side. His first shot glanced off the Westhill goalkeeper, but Siano collected the rebound and deposited the ball in the right side of the net to stretch the Ridgefield lead to 2-0.
“It wasn’t the prettiest or the most controlled half that we could have played, but we scored goals up top,” said defender Shane Bowler. “We need to capitalize on more of our chances on goal.”
In the 47th minute, Glass aggressively pursued a 50-50 ball with the Norwalk keeper, knocking the ball free and behind the goalie to Siano, who easily walked the ball in for his second goal and a 3-0 advantage.
Westhill struck next, as forward Jorge Belancor found the back of the net on a free kick to cut Ridgefield's lead to 3-1. That was one of the few opportunities for the Vikings, who were shut down by the Tigers' senior-laden backline.
Midway through the second half, Debarbieri rocketed a high-bouncing pass into the top right of the goal for the highlight of the night, pushing the Ridgefield lead to 4-1. Catching up to the pass in stride, Debarbieri timed his volley with the bounce of the ball for a superb goal.
Shortly thereafter, a Westhill player was sent off with a red card for using expletive language. The ensuing man-advantage played to Ridgefield’s favor as Debarbieri closed the scoring by converting a backheel touch from sophomore Tim Vanni to make it 5-1.
“We’re very optimistic going into FCIACs. But first, we have to close out the season against Warde before worrying about the tournament," said senior defender Nick David. "Obviously, clinching the first seed in the FCIAC tournament is on our mind, and moving up the ranks for states."