Ridgefield girls soccer plays Simsbury in state semis today

To reach the state championship game for the fourth straight year, the Ridgefield High girls soccer team needs to beat the tournament's surprise squad.

That is 19th-seed Simsbury, whom the seventh-seeded Tigers meet in the Class LL semifinals tonight (Nov. 12) at 6:30 at Municipal Stadium in Waterbury.

The winner plays either top-seed Glastonbury or fifth-seed Staples in the finals on Saturday (Nov. 17) at a site and time to be announced. Glastonbury and Staples meet in the other semifinal today at 6:30 at Naugatuck High School.

Ridgefield is the reigning state champion, having beaten Staples in last year's title game after losing in the finals to Glastonbury in 2015 and 2016.

Despite entering the state tournament with a modest 9-6-1 regular-season record, Simsbury has reeled off three consecutive 1-0 upset victories (all on the road) over 14th-seed Hall, third-seed Southington, and 11th-seed Wilton. The win over Southington came on penalty kicks after the game was scoreless through regulation and overtime.

“We played terrible in our last two regular-season games (a 3-0 loss to Farmington and a 4-1 loss to Glastonbury) had a meeting with the team, and since then everything is clicking for us,” Simsbury’s first-year head coach Steve Jarvis told The Wilton Bulletin after his team's 1-0 win over Wilton in the quarterfinals on Friday. “The light bulb went on as we entered the playoffs, as the team has bought into what we have asked them to do all season; we’re hitting our stride at the right time."

Playing at home, Ridgefield outscored its first three Class LL opponents (26th-seed Manchester, 10th-seed South Windsor, and 18th-seed Darien) by a combined 9-0. The Tigers' closest game was their 1-0 triumph over Darien on Friday.

With neither Ridgefield nor Simsbury allowing an opponent to score so far, goals are likely to be at a premium today. Indeed, the team that scores first could well be the team playing for a state title on Saturday.