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Wilton U12 Boys Emerge Undefeated and Win Division in Weekend SCOR Tournament
The Wilton Boys U12 Blue team waged a hard-fought battle this past Saturday, Oct. 10 to win their division in the Ridgefield Columbus Day SCOR Tournament. The boys managed to go undefeated in four straight games against tough squads from New Canaan, Stamford, New Milford, and Ridgefield.
The day began with an explosive start from the Wilton offense as Michael Cooper scored two goals against Ridgefield Orange in the first five minutes of the game, starting off a run in which Cooper would manage to score at least once in each of the four games, and to contribute several assists. Ryan Leung and Matt Tabet also turned in impressive performances, with each scoring in the Ridgefield game and helping the team take the first match 6-0.
In game two, the Stamford Hurricanes came on hard, as the temperatures started to warm and the Wilton middies and wings racked up serious miles. Christian Marroquin and Jack Dodman, who both managed assists in game one, kept pressing down field, and helped Wilton maintain a lead in offensive possession in during the second half. Cooper and Leung again led the scoring effort, and aggressive moves from Wilton goalkeeper Sam Gioffre helped limit Stamford’s ability to score, as the second match wrapped up with Wilton taking the contest 3-2.
After a brief break, the Wilton team headed into the third match with 90 minutes of soccer behind them. The defensive line of Scotty Mills, Luke Medalla, Dylan Bender and Tommy Lowell had so far managed to hold two competitive teams to just two goals scored. Now they would really be tested in what turned out to be the toughest battle of the entire day. When the New Milford Sounders squared off against Wilton in game three, both teams were unbeaten and aware that this was a make-or-break moment for the tournament. Time and again, Connor Lillis and Amir Sabovic managed to win battles against the aggressive New Milford forwards, with Marroquin and Luke Barbieri playing a big role by keeping up the offensive pressure in the New Milford end. There was lots of contact, and many miles run as the play moved end to end, but when the dust settled, Wilton managed a 1-0 victory in what coach James Mallet later called one of the toughest fights he’d ever seen a squad play at this level. But there was still one last hurdle before trophy time.
New Canaan runs a strong soccer program, and the New Canaan Black team showed up ready to play for what would be the final match of the day for the U12 Wilton Blue. But even after three tough games, Wilton still had what it would take to best the New Canaan players. Leung opened with the first goal just a few minutes in, the middies continued to frustrate New Canaan’s attempts to break through, and at the end of the day, Wilton would put this one on the record books with a final score of 3-0.
By days’ end, Wilton had managed to run up an impressively strong performance across the whole team, with the mids and forwards racking up an impressive fourteen goals against, while the defensive line and keeper Gioffre managed to hold the attackers to just two goals all day. Mallet praised the unified performance of the team, and challenged them to carry that forward through the remainder of the season.
Wilton 8-Blue 7, Darien White 26
After a tight first half, undefeated Darien White pulled away from Wilton 8-Blue in the second half to coast to a 26-7 victory on Sunday, Oct 11 at Darien High School.
The game was originally scheduled as the marquee contest on the Saturday night slate at Fujitani Field in Wilton, but was moved to Darien due to a light failure at the field, a poor omen for the Warriors.
After trading non-productive possessions, the Warriors took over on downs on their own 26-yd.-line. Wilton began to move the ball but on fourth-and-short Darien stood up the Warrior fullback, and after several seconds of no forward progress, and with the expected whistle not forthcoming, a Darien player was able to strip the ball and return the pigskin to the Warrior 31. Four plays later the home team scored to go up 6-0.
Wilton put together a good drive shortly before the half, but time ran out at the Darien 36, leaving the score 6-0 at the break.
Darien came out in the second half and quickly rolled up three scores using the running game twice to great effect and returning an intercepted pass for a touchdown to run out to a 26-0 lead.
Playing only for pride, the Warriors put together a five-play 70-yd. drive to narrow the score to 26-7, final.