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This week’s “Warrior Sports Week on GMW” features the Wilton High School football team‘s second blowout win of the season, keeping the Norwalk Bears scoreless and winning 48-0. Alex K. also celebrates WHS fans at the game.
Further down below, boys golf Coach Jack Majesky writes in about Wilton’s home turf defense against Stamford’s Black Knights, winning by 13 strokes.
And finally, the WHS boys soccer team played well, splitting its first two games of the season, marking a win against rival Darien.
Warrior Sports Week
The following was contributed by WHS boys golf.
In appreciation of a gorgeous, full sun, high 70s afternoon in mid-September, the Wilton High School boys golf team showed up to defend home turf at Rolling Hills Country Club in a 13-stroke defeat of the Stamford High School Black Knights. Both teams played well, returning a match score of 155-168.
Wilton co-captains Thomas Rogozinski and Hudson Hagmann mirrored their games with cards reading 37, one over par to share the match medal. Playing competitively in separate foursomes, each birdied the 493-yard uphill and right doglegged par 5 seventh.
Senior Rogozinski used a 4 iron from the tee to fit the rapidly bending fairway, and a 3 wood (metal) to 70 short of the flagstick planted low front on the two-level green. His 54-degree wedge swing leave was 5 feet. A single roll was cup-captured.
Following a diverse route, junior Hagmann left his tee shot far right in high rough. The second, a 7-wood propelled to fairway left, was 80 yards short of the putting surface. With a 54-degree wedge as well, the third shot flew the flag, rolled to the rise between green levels and returned from that backstop to yet another 5 feet. The medal-hunting junior then completed his round penciling in a 3 on the finishing hole, an uphill par 4 playing 426 yards. His drive, again right, went in high-banked rough. The ball, well above his feet, was 7 ironed from 185 yards to home, 10 feet short and left. The putt, left to right, a right-handers least desirable curl was nevertheless negotiated.
Welcome and close team scoring support was provided by Tucker Farrell’s 38. The senior class golfer was awarded the Shot of the Day. On The Hills’ Number 1 handicapped 8th, a 439-yard par 4, his first swing was center cut carrying the upper fairway and coming to rest one halfway down the long, near 40-degree slope to the lower level. Farrell’s second, with a rock-solid pivot and careful clubface contact at the bottom of his swing, produced a beautifully elevated ball trajectory to green center, 10 feet short and in line with the hole. The stroke was denied, missing by a low single digit in inches. Will Soucy’s 43 completed the Warrior team scorecard.
The following write-up was contributed by WHS boys soccer.
After a week of volatile weather that disrupted practice schedules and postponed first games, the Wilton High School varsity boys soccer team opened its 2023 fall campaign with two intensely contested games, a well-played 0-1 loss to Norwalk and a strong 1-0 victory over Darien.
The Warriors’ next seven days have three big games on the calendar, away against Greenwich (Tuesday, Sept. 19), away against Trumbull (Thursday, Sept. 21), and home against Danbury (Saturday, Sept. 23).
Wilton v Norwalk
Norwalk, a 2022 FCIAC semifinalist, visited Lilly Field on Tuesday, Sept. 12 ready to play.
The Warriors came out determined to send a positive message about their season… imposing their high-paced, possession-oriented style of play against the Bears and working a deep lineup as Head Coach Edwin Carvajal tested his rotations.
The backbone of the Warriors group set the tone early, with Declan Zadourian (senior), leading confidently from the center-back position, while David Unruh (senior) and James Cameron (junior) controlled play from central midfield positions. The trio looks to have their team focused and committed to win battles across the field.
On the attacking side of the ball, Alex Pravia (senior) and Cole van den Huevel (senior) pressured the Bears all game with pace, physicality and dangerous runs.
While on the other end of the field, Jaime Whitaker (senior) was a steady hand in goal for the Warriors in his first high school start at the position.
The Warriors and Bears played an even first half on the scoreboard (0-0), but Wilton created more quality scoring opportunities than Norwalk was able to generate.
The second half opened much like the first with each team searching for opportunities. Despite the Warriors’ sustained positive pressure, Norwalk managed to earn the only goal of the match on a free kick from about 30 yards out midway through the second half that rattled around Wilton’s box before deflecting into the net amidst a crowd.
After going down a goal, the Warriors showed resolve and doubled down on their game plan in search of the equalizer.
The Warriors’ defensive line of Finn Burke (junior), Evan Arghirescu (junior), Matt DeMasi (junior) and Zadourian held the Bears at bay for the remainder of the match as the midfield pressed to apply pressure.
Jack Crossen (junior), Andrew Partenza (junior), Toby Plowright (junior) and Sid Suneja (senior) worked the deep flanks throughout the game in an effort to expand the field to create space and chances.
Kieran McGann (senior), Amit Solomon (junior), Tyler Coppola (junior), James Morello (senior), Graham Kowal (senior), and Liam Christ (junior) all made positive contributions in spells on the back line and in midfield as Wilton showcased its depth.
The Warriors’ best opportunity to tie the game came on a lofted cross from Pravia off the left wing to a hard-charging Unruh who connected for a clean header at the top of his leap pushing the ball towards the upper right corner of the goal. Only a tremendous fingertips save by the Bears’ goalkeeper left the Warriors still searching for the game-tying goal.
Despite a tremendous effort, the clock eventually ran out on the Warriors and they left the pitch on the wrong side of the scoreboard (0-1). But despite that, they took away a lot of positives to build upon and most important, a belief that they can compete with the FCIAC’s best.
Carvajal commented on his team’s on-field performance.
“The team has worked hard over the first weeks to develop chemistry. We have been focused on installing our system of play, making sure we control the tempo of a game and gaining confidence across the field. We have some significant tests ahead, but we are pleased with the positive steps so far against what has been very formidable FCIAC opposition,” Carvajal said.
Wilton v Darien
Wilton returned to the pitch two days later (Tuesday, Sept. 14) on a picture-perfect afternoon at Lilly Field for its next FCIAC battle against rival Darien.
Again the Warriors came out with a plan to control the game. The team kept the ball moving and the Blue Wave defense on its heels for much of the first half.
The Warriors’ offensive pressure yielded a few great chances early on, the best of which resulted in a Pravia shot that slipped just outside the left post after a crisp, springing through-ball from midfielder Cameron.
The Warriors broke through with their first goal of the season with 15 minutes remaining in the first stanza. A well-played ball through midfield to van den Heuvel on the run got him behind the defense. Van den Heuvel worked his way deep into the penalty area, holding off two defenders, and drilled a shot that was deflected and popped left to a supporting Crossen who was smartly trailing the play on the left. Crossen collected the ball, beat his man around the outside, and clinically deposited the ball in the far side netting well out of reach of the Darien keeper. That made the score 1-0 Warriors.
The second 45 minutes saw a more urgent tempo from both sides as Darien sought to tie the game while Wilton pushed to extend its lead.
Warrior senior captains Zadourian and Unruh kept their side focused on the task at hand with hard tackling, smart distribution and authoritative clearances.
Cameron and Solomon did well to keep the ball moving on the ground through the center of the pitch while Pravia, van den Heuvel, Partenza, Crossen and Plowright forced Darien to stay attentive on defense.
The game ended with a final push by Darien who earned a free kick with five seconds remaining, attempting one last effort to tie the game. But the Warrior defense held strong and cleared the ball away as the clock expired.
Wilton earned the 1-0 victory and evened its record at 1-1-0 on the season.
Whitaker grabbed his first shutout of the season in goal, making half a dozen key saves throughout the game.
In addition to the varsity win over Darien, the junior varsity and freshman boys teams also won their matches against the Blue Wave, 5-1 and 2-1, respectively. The junior varsity side is now 1-0-1 on the season and the freshmen are 1-0.
The article has been updated to include the name of the photographer who took the images of the soccer team.