Ridgefield girls soccer beats Darien, advancing to FCIAC championship
WILTON — Since falling in the conference semifinals a year ago, the focus of the Ridgefield girls soccer team has been clear.
Go a step further.
The No. 3 Tigers now get a shot at playing for an FCIAC championship after defeating No. 7 Darien 3-0 in the semifinals at Wilton’s Kristine Lilly Field on Monday night.
Ridgefield will face the winner of the night cap between St. Joseph and Greenwich on Wednesday at 5 p.m. at Norwalk High.
Ridgefield was co-champions with New Canaan in its last visit to the finals in 2009, also tying Trumbull in 1996, last winning it outright in 1993.
The Tigers have been focused on beginning games aggressively and trying to score on set pieces, and the two went hand-in-hand in Monday. Ridgefield’s Katherine Jasminski finished a corner sent in by Alyssa Bonanno seven minutes into the contest to put the Tigers up 1-0.
Jasminski said reaching the finals is even sweeter after being knocked out in the semis last season.
“It was such a big deal for us,” Jasminski said. “Being stopped last year gave us the drive and desire to want to go further this year. Coming out aggressively is so important because you set the tone and you have the momentum and once you score you are really in control.”
The Tigers rode that momentum, scoring again with 14:30 remaining in the half with Natalie Brassinga following up a shot off the crossbar by Alexandra Damron for the goal.
Ridgefield coach Alex Harrison said his team has been locked in all season and Monday night was no different.
“Good teams have goals to get back to where they were last year and great teams want to take it one step further. And to now take it to the FCIAC final makes me really proud of these guys,” Harrison said. “Tonight we really pressed on and we had a group of girls out there who really wanted this thing.”
Jasminski added an insurance goal in the second half, rounding out the scoring.
For Darien, chasing a team like Ridgefield proved to be too daunting of a task though, the Blue Wave did have scoring chances with one ball hitting the post and another having to be cleared off the goal line by a defender.
“Any game is tough and when you are chasing it is a hard position to be in,” Darien coach Leigh Parsons said. “We set out with a game plan of being tight on corners and then seven minutes in or so they score off a corner which is frustrating. We had some chances too. Were they great chances? No. but off a corner we hit the cross bar and off another their player clears it off the line so it could have been 2-2.”
RIDGEFIELD 3, DARIEN 0
DARIEN 0 0 - 0
RIDGEFIELD 0 0 - 0
Records: R - 13-2-3; D - 10-7-1
Scoring: R - Katherine Jasminski 2g; Natalie Brassinga 1g; Alexandra Damron 1a; Alyssa Bonnano 2a
Goalies: R - Julia Middlebrook 9 saves; D - Christine Fiore 8 saves