WILTON, Conn. – Jayne Maccio netted a pair of goals and Casey Pearsall scored the goal of the season in a wild 4-1 victory Tuesday over Fairfield Ludlowe that clinched a conference playoff spot for the Wilton High girls soccer team.
After a physical first half that saw more bodies on the turf than shots on goal, the floodgates opened for the Warriors offense in the second half. Wilton needed just 14 minutes to score more goals against a playoff qualifier than it has scored all season, except for one game.
Pearsall took a corner kick with 27:35 to play, lofting it into a crowd of players. Maccio got a head on it, and the ball snuck into the net for Wilton’s first goal.
Another set piece put the game firmly in Wilton’s grasp when Kayla O’Brien took an indirect kick less than six minutes later. Lindsay Knutson redirected the shot into the net, and Wilton was on its way to a playoff berth.
“It’s been a major point for us not being able to get the ball in the back of the net, which is why a lot of our scores have been so close,” Wilton head coach Megan Rodriguez said. “But today it was on. They were striking the ball well and with confidence.”
After Ludlowe briefly cut Wilton’s lead to 2-1, Maccio put the game away for good with 15 minutes remaining. The Wilton sophomore drilled a free kick past the Ludlowe goalie for the Warriors’ third goal of the evening.
“After all this playing time we’ve finally found our mojo and finally found who fits in the right positions,” Maccio said of Wilton’s sudden offensive outburst. “We all just work so well together and made it happen.”
Less than two minutes later, Pearsall put an exclamation point on the victory with the goal of the season. From 35 yards out on the far-left side of the field, Pearsall rocketed a high, bending shot that drilled the upper-right corner of the net. The shot traveled closer to 50 yards considering where Pearsall’s kick started and where the ball perfectly landed.
Wilton hosts Bridgeport Central on Thursday at 6 p.m. in its final game of the regular season. The Warriors play in the conference quarterfinals Saturday against an opponent to be determined.