Field hockey: Ridgefield closing in on FCIAC berth

Although a 2-0 road loss to Greenwich on Saturday ended the Ridgefield High field hockey team's three-game winning streak, the Tigers are close to clinching a berth in the conference playoffs.

Going into its final three regular-season games, Ridgefield is seventh in the FCIAC overall standings with 14 points, three more than Fairfield Warde and five more than Fairfield Ludlowe. The top-eight teams qualify for the playoffs.

Before losing to Greenwich, the Tigers defeated Trumbull, 2-0, last Thursday in Ridgefield. The game was played despite incessant rainfall.

“It’s encouraging to see how adverse conditions — the weather, an injured starter — didn’t defeat us from the get-go but just became another task for us to overcome,” said Ridgefield head coach Jessica Smith. “We gained a quick control and refused to let up on that for the rest of the game.”

While possession initially wavered between the teams, Ridgefield took a 1-0 lead just 10:22 into the contest. Julia Carrozza adeptly hugged the line on a run down the field before sending a pass to Madeline McGrath. McGrath then fed Cate Irving, who tapped the ball into the Trumbull net.

“We had been struggling to keep the ball in our offensive zone, so I knew as soon as I was down there I needed to make something happen,” said Irving. “Trumbull definitely showed up, but once we adapted to the speed that the rain added we were able to play one of our cleanest games.”

Sixteen minutes later, Ridgefield doubled its lead. Center midfielder Bella Carrozza sent a drive toward the Trumbull goal and capitalized on some commotion in the circle to recollect the ball and score.

The Tigers were more indecisive in the second half, as Trumbull produced numerous chances while simultaneously keeping Ridgefield's offense in check. But quick interjections by Maddie Peters and Ellie O’Connor on Trumbull corner plays protected the Tigers' two-goal lead.

Ridgefield's final scoring chance came with 2:40 remaining, as the Trumbull goalie needed to make a split block on Bella Carrozza's reverse slap.