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Wilton Girls Fall in Soccer Semifinals

WILTON, Conn. – Wilton High’s girls soccer team played with energy, intensity and determination for the final 20 minutes Thursday night as it pressed for the game-tying goal during its FCIAC semifinal against Fairfield Warde High School.

The sixth-seeded Warriors did not get it, falling 1-0 to the seventh-seeded Mustangs. Coach Megan Rodriguez wished her players had shown a little more urgency in the first half, when they fell behind on a goal by Emily Pullen in the 28th minute.

“I don’t think we came out with the intensity that we should have for every single game,’’ Rodriguez said. “It kills us in the first half. Now we have states on Monday, and we’re moving on to that.”

Wilton (9-4-5) had a few opportunities early, but they were turned away by the Warde defense and goalie Katie Brennen, who had five saves. Pullen scored with 11:26 left in the first half as Warde enjoyed the better offensive opportunities through most of the first half.

The Warriors pressed early in the second half and dialed up the pressure in the final 20 minutes. Led by Casey Pearsall and Tegan Helms, the Warriors mounted a strong attack that resulted in five corner kicks. Helms hit the crossbar with a shot, a header soared over the goal and Lindsay Knutson’s blast just missed the top of the net with 10 minutes to play. Wilton had plenty of opportunities. But there were just no goals.

“That’s our luck,’’ Rodriguez said. “We just can’t get it in the back of the net on some games. We hit three crossbars. We’ve been working on our shots. I guess we just have to work a little more.”

Senior goalkeeper Elizabeth Reda made four saves for the Warriors, who now await the state tournament. Wilton upset second-seeded Westhill in penalty kicks Wednesday to reach the semifinals.

“I don’t think we had any hangover affect,’’ Rodriguez said. “Warde had to play (Wednesday), too. I was just happy that we didn’t have to play Greenwich because they had five days off.”

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