WILTON, Conn. It was only the third game of the season, but the Wilton High field hockey team's thrilling 1-0 win over Darien High had a postseason feel.
In their first meeting since last year's Class M state semifinals, the top two powerhouses of the conference duked it out with just one dramatic goal once again proving to be the difference.
After an evenly matched first 45 minutes, Wilton's offensive pressure led to a Darien mistake. A Blue Wave player was called for a high stick in the goalie's crease, resulting in a Wilton penalty shot.
Madison Hendry, who sat out last season's semifinal against Darien with an injury, picked her spot and whizzed the penalty shot past Darien goalie Danika Hornick.
"It feels so good to beat Darien, especially since I couldn't play against them last time," Hendry said. "I was pretty relaxed on the shot. I've practiced that shot for a while. This [win] is definitely going to give us a lot of confidence for the rest of the season."
The shutout remained, thanks in large part to a huge game in net by Wilton's Lizette Roman-Johnson. The Warrior junior aggressively minded the net, coming out of the crease on several occasions to kick away a Darien threat. Johnson racked up an impressive 14 saves.
"This kind of proves that win last year wasn't a fluke and that we really work hard," Roman-Johnson said. "I think it's just part of my personality to come out at the ball. They beat us 4-1 in the regular season last year, and I think it was because I didn't come after the ball. So I've really worked on that since then."
Both teams had shut out opponents through their first two games. That streak continues for Wilton, which has outscored opponents 14-0 so far.
Darien's 93-game unbeaten streak was snapped last season by Staples and its four-year grip on the Class M state title was ended by the Warriors.
Wilton (3-0) hosts Fairfield Warde on Friday at 4 p.m.
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