NORWALK, Conn. For 79 minutes, Brien McMahon High School's girls soccer team kept Wilton off the board as the Senators looked for the second win this week over one of the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference's traditional powers.
But Wilton prevailed, 1-0, when McKenzie Dean headed the ball into the goal off an indirect kick by Casey Pearsall. McMahon coach Nicole Stockfisch knew the Senators (3-5) were lucky to be tied. Wilton (2-2-3) dominated possession, especially in the second half, and had far more opportunities. McMahon, which had won three in a row including its first-ever victory over New Canaan, did little offensively all game.
"That's what we've done all season,'' Stockfisch said. "We've been up and down. We can't be one of these teams that needs to regroup every time. The FCIAC is a tough league. You have to show up to play every game."
Goalkeeper Shangyne Samuels (nine saves) kept the Warriors off the board, and the Senators also played well on the backline. Brittany McEwan, Kate Buellesbach, Maya Carter and Alison Carvalho did a good job of clearing potential scoring chances. "The four in the back played great, '' Stockfish said. "Everyone other than that did not play that well."
Scoring has been an issue for the Senators for most of the season. In their five losses, they have been shutout four times and have scored one goal in the other.
Wilton's game-winning goal started with Pearsall sending the ball into the goalie's box from about 20 yards out. Dean got a step on the defense and guided past Samuels. "We know we don't defend that well and we continue to give goals up on those plays,'' Stockfisch said.
McMahon would have been fortunate to escape with a tie. As the season hits the halfway point, the Senators are still searching for consistency and have to find it quickly. The Senators face St. Joseph and Trumbull, which have no losses between them, in their next two games. "Wilton's a good team,'' Stockfisch said. "This is a game we should have been competitive in."
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