WILTON — Fairfield Warde made it a game for a while, had a couple of early leads and kept it tight for 17 minutes Friday night at Kristine Lilly Field.
Wilton got on a run to finish the first half, controlled the ball, took control of the game and won 14-4 in the FCIAC girls lacrosse quarterfinals.
“We’ve been trying super-hard in practice at bringing the intensity,” said Wilton senior Eva Greco, who scored three second-half goals as the Warriors put it away.
“Warde is a great team. We knew we had to play well, that earlier-season scores don’t have a lot of impact on the postseason.”
Wilton (13-4) scored eight goals in a row in just over 21 minutes to turn a 4-3 lead into a win going away. The Warriors, seeded third, move on to Monday’s semifinals against New Canaan.
Warde (11-6), the sixth seed, was already down a couple of injured players. With 7:44 left in the first half, it lost junior attack Grace Dougherty to an apparent knee injury.
After about a 10-minute delay to tend to her, the Warriors forced a turnover, and Paisley Eagan scored a minute later, one of her six points, to begin the run. It was 7-3 Warriors at the half.
“We lost two players the second-to-last game of the season,” Mustangs coach Tom Davis said, “and then today … We hit the pipe four times. Grace went down. It’s next-man-up, and you’re kind of searching the back of the bench to see if you can get a little spark or something.”
Libby McKenna scored three goals for Warde; Dougherty scored the other, which had put the Mustangs up 2-1, their second (and final) lead, 5:09 into the game.
“They play a zone defense, and that’s not something we see too often, so it took us a while to get through and make those adjustments,” Wilton coach Meredith Meyran said.
“Fairfield Warde played a great game, beginning to end, and they pushed us the whole time, which is great. It’s the FCIAC quarterfinals.”
Sophia Sudano scored five goals for Wilton, which forced several Warde turnovers in the second half that never let the Mustangs generate any momentum.
“We don’t want to give the momentum back, so we know we need to convert on all our possessions,” Greco said. “If they get the ball and they convert, it’s on us, so we want to keep up the momentum.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Wilton senior midfielder Paisley Eagan scored two goals and assisted on four.
ON TO SEMIS
Wilton faces second-seeded New Canaan (13-4) in the semifinals Monday night at Norwalk. New Canaan, which beat Ludlowe 12-5 in the quarterfinals, beat Wilton 6-4 early in the season.
“Every (New Canaan) player is super-capable,” Greco said. “We need to realize that every team is going to show up every day. If we play our best, we’ll be able to succeed and come out on top.”
The final is Thursday night.
Fairfield Warde waits now for the CIAC Class L tournament. Davis said the Mustangs are hopeful that senior middie Olivia Seymour could return by then.
“They fight. They never give up. They’ve got nothing to be ashamed of. They’ve had a great season. We were 11-5. Just to make it to the FCIACs is one of our goals, and the second is to make it to the states.” — Fairfield Warde coach Tom Davis on his Mustangs team
WILTON 14, FAIRFIELD WARDE 4
FAIRFIELD WARDE 3 1— 4
WILTON 7 7—14
Records: Fairfield Warde 11-6; Wilton 13-4. Scoring: FW—Libby McKenna 3 goals, Grace Dougherty 1g; W—Paisley Eagan 2 goals, 4 assists, Sophia Sudano 5g, Eva Greco 3g, 1a, Julia Skillin 1g, 2a, Carly Sullivan 1g, Megan Lynch 1g, Olivia Gladstein 1g. Goalies: FW—Abby King (5 saves); W—Paige Brown (6), Bridgette Wall (3). Shots: FW—23; W—24.