WILTON — A great night for the Wilton girls soccer team turned ugly Wednesday when a parent allegedly attacked an opposing coach after an on-field fight led to the ejection of three players.

The Warriors qualified for the last spot in the FCIAC tournament with a 3-0 win over Fairfield Ludlowe at Kristine Lilly Field.

The victory, however, was marred by both the in-game fracas that led to three red cards and the postgame altercation that brought police to the school and a trip to the hospital for the coach who was allegedly assaulted.

Wilton athletic director Chris McDougal and school principal Bob O’Donnell both refused to comment about the postgame incident, which occurred when a Wilton parent allegedly assaulted a Fairfield Ludlowe assistant coach as the Falcons were leaving the field.

Fairfield Ludlowe athletic director Todd Parness also refused comment, saying he was not at the game and adding, “I was only able to talk to my coach about it briefly.”

Wilton had a 3-0 lead with 10 minutes remaining, thanks to two Lindsay Groves goals and another tally by Ashley Carbonier.

While chasing down a ball, Wilton’s Paisley Eagan and Ludlowe’s McKenna Forrest got tangled up and fell in a heap in front of the Ludlowe bench.

As the two tried to regain their feet, pushing turned into punches being thrown with Groves coming in after and shoving Forrest from behind.

Ludlowe coach Peter Nikac stepped into the fight to break things up, moving the players away from each other and drawing the ire of Wilton coach Renato Topali.

After the officials restored order, Groves and Eagan were issued red cards for Wilton while Forrest was shown a red card for the Falcons.

Groves and Eagan, two of Wilton’s top players, will both be suspended for the FCIAC quarterfinal.

Forrest, meanwhile, will miss Ludlowe’s state tournament opener.

“It’s unfortunate, but it’s the passion to go forward,” Nikac said. “I appreciate their stepping up for their teams, but it was the heat of the moment and it happens. It’s just an unfortunate incident.”

After the game, Ludlowe was leaving the field when a Wilton parent — apparently upset with how the fight was broken up — allegedly assaulted a Ludlowe coach, according to eyewitnesses.

Three police officers responded along with an ambulance to check on the coach, who was leaning against a car in the parking lot and walking around under his own power.

He was transported from Wilton High via the ambulance as police officers continued their interviews with parents who stayed behind, Wilton players and other witnesses.

Wilton Police Sgt. Timothy Fridinger refused to comment on the incident, saying it was still under investigation and too early to determine whether any charges would be filed.


It was Groves, a junior striker, who staked Wilton to a 1-0 halftime lead when she took an Andrea Benalcazer through ball, sprinted for some space and fired a shot from just outside the 18 toward the far post and in the net.

“It’s really all a team effort,” Groves said. “They make it easy for me. They give me the right balls. If I didn’t have them — they’re strong, strong players — it would be much harder, but they make it easy for me to do well.”

She made it 2-0 taking a Maddie Wecker clearning pass from the defensive zone and heading it toward the Falcons goal. Seeing nobody in front of her, Groves sprinted after the ball, gained control and raced into the box before kicking a low shot to the right post with 24:53 left to play.

Six minutes later, Sophia Sudano fed the ball to Carbonier, whose shot to the far post actually hit the post and trickled in.

The three-goal lead allowed Wilton to fend off Ludlowe’s 10-9 advantage once the ejections occurred.


Also not to be lost among the ruins was the play of Wilton’s defense, including Chloe Zimmerman, Grace Rava, Piper Chase, Maddie Wecker and Libby Connolly, all of whom stood tall in front of goalkeeper Taylor Floyd.

“Throughout the season we’ve been struggling to clear the ball and today the defense really stepped up,” said Floyd, who made four saves. “The communication between everybody was great. We just played well as a unit.”

On Ludlowe’s side of the field, goalkeeper Natalie Kelchner made six saves.




WILTON 1 2—3

Records: Ludlowe 6-4-6, Wilton 9-6-1; Goals: W—Lindsay Groves 2, Ashley Carbonier; Assists: W—Andrea Benalcazar, Maddie Wecker, Sophia Sudano; Goalkeepers: W—Taylor Floyd (4 saves), L—Natalie Kelchner (6 saves).