WILTON — With 13 seconds left, her team ahead by two goals, and Wilton preparing for a free position, Ridgefield girls lacrosse coach Cece Berger looked up at the clock.
“I thought that even if Wilton scored a goal we were still OK,” said Berger. “But then Lexi (Held) made a save and the ball went wide and took three or four seconds to get out of bounds. And that was the game.”
Held made four big stops in the second half to help Ridgefield defeat Wilton 10-8 and extend its winning streak to six games heading into Wednesday’s regular-season finale against Brien McMahon.
Wilton, meanwhile, fell to 10-6 with its third straight loss to end the regular season.
Both teams have qualified for the upcoming FCIAC tournament and could well see each other again.
“If we were going to lose to Ridgefield, this was the time to do it,” said Wilton coach Meredith Meyran. “We need to learn from this loss. We have a couple of practices before FCIACs start (on Friday) to work things out.”
Ridgefield (9-5) scored three straight goals to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 lead with 17:02 left in the first half and stayed in front from there. Wilton closed within 6-5 at halftime, but the Tigers got goals from Caitlin Slaminko and Aly Gagnon in the first three minutes of the second half to go ahead 8-5.
The Warriors pulled within 9-8 on Sophia Sudano’s goal off a Ridgefield turnover with 8:37 left, but Abby Winkler conveted a pass from Faith Arnold to make it a two-goal game with 7:07 remaining.
Neither team scored again.
Held denied Wilton’s Julia Skillin on a shot from in close with 2:40 to go, and Carly Sullivan sent a shot wide after another Ridgefield turnover.
“We got sloppy there at the end of the game,” Berger said. “We must have had three or four turnovers in the last 50 seconds, but fortunately we were able to hold on.”
In addition to Held’s saves, the Tigers got four goals from Caitlin Slaminko and a stout defensive effort led by Bella Carrozza, Sam Lehaney, Joanna Gengo and Arnold. Ridgefield also benefited from Hannah Boylan’s performance on draws.
“They did a lot better on the draws,” Meyran said. “We did not have enough possessions to get our groove, especially in the first half.”