WILTON, Conn. -- The Wilton under-11 boys soccer team beat Westport, 3-2, on Saturday to win the Connecticut Cup championship at the Farmington Sports Arena.
It was the first Connecticut Cup championship for a Wilton team in 15 years. The Connecticut (CT) Cup is a single-elimination, bracket-style tournament played every fall season at the U11-U14 age groups for both boys and girls and includes the state's top travel teams.
Westport stunned Wilton with two goals in the first five minutes of the game. Owen English scored to trim the deficit to 2-1, and Tyler Moody flicked the ball into the back of the net off a bicycle kick from five yards out to tie the game at 2-2 entering halftime.
With time winding down in the second half, Andrew Zizzadoro's quick footwork allowed him to beat two Westport players in the 18-yard box. Zizzadoro then faked a shot with his left foot, cut to his right, and blasted a shot past the Westport goalkeeper into the lower-right corner of the net for the game winner.
The strong defensive tackles and impressive quickness of Tyler Casey, Max Andrews and Christian Furst and the goalkeeping efforts of Jack Lynch kept Westport from getting any further chances in the first half.
The relentless and physical play of Zarius Eusebe and Owen English combined with the playmaking ability and skill of Zizzadoro and Parker Woodring became too much to handle for the Westport defense in the second half.
Wilton continued to control the game in the second half. Feisty play and quick ball movement from Conor Lillis, Jack Dodman, Malcolm McCormick and Dillon Mannix helped support Wilton's dominance.
Many of the boys on Wilton's team have been playing since they were an 8-and-under team. Last spring, they beat New York State Cup Finalists, FC Somers, to win the Fishkill Tournament in New York.
The team is coached by Micky Canning, and former coaches, Danny Pelletier and Renato Topalli also contributed to the boys successes over the years.
Identification of the team picture: Top Row: Manager Nick Zizzadoro, Jack Lynch, Coach Micky Canning, Max Andrews, Manager Jayme Casey
Middle Row: Zarius Eusebe, Parker Woodring, Tyler Moody, Jack Dodman, Malcolm McCormick.
Bottom Row: Christian Furst, Owen English, Andrew Zizzadoro, Conor Lillis, Tyler Casey, Dillon Mannix
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