Girls soccer: Trumbull falls to Ridgefield Tigers, 2-0

The Trumbull High girls soccer team’s task was to find a way past Ridgefield High, the defending FCIAC champions, in the league quarterfinals at Tiger Hollow on Friday.

Coach Daniel Uhrlass’s seventh-seeded Eagles gave up a quick goal, then made second-seeded Ridgefield sweat a bit before the Tigers scored again in the 69th minute to advance with a 2-0 victory.

Ridgefield (15-2-0) will play No. 3 Staples of Westport (12-2-3) in Tuesday’s semifinal game at 7 p.m. at Wilton High. Staples defeated No. 6 Darien, 4-1, in its quarterfinal.

Trumbull is 8-7-2 and will await pairings for the Class LL tournament.

The Tigers took a 1-0 lead when Natalie Brassinga scored less than three minutes into the contest. Alexandra Damron and Alyssa Bonanno were credited with assists on the goal.

Although Ridgefield was controlling the contest, it was unable to extend its advantage until just over 10 minutes remained in the contest. Damron sent a corner kick into the Trumbull box and Katie Jasminski rose to head the ball in for a 2-0 lead.

The insurance goal came after sustained pressure from the Tigers, who unleashed shot after shot to no no avail upon Trumbull keeper Avery Rice.

Caitlin Slaminko and Jasminski had attempts saved, Grace Franklin sent a free kick over the net, and Alyssa Bonanno had a shot that went wide.

First-year Ridgefield head coach Iain Golding said that the home-field advantage was something his team had aimed for. “One of our goals this season was to secure home field,” said Golding. “Being at home and avoiding travel helps immensely.”

“I think winning at home for our first playoff game definitely sets the tone for the rest of the postseason,” said Brassinga. “I think it was really important for the team as a confidence booster and also just makes us really pumped up for the next game.”

Molly Nethercott, Claire Middlebrook, Kathryn Barlow, Anna Landler, and Franklin spearheaded the defensive effort for the Tigers, who limited Trumbull to one shot on goal that keeper Julia Middlebrook saved for the shutout.

Jasminski (four) and Brassinga (two) combined for six of the Tigers’ 10 shots on goal.

Ridgefield had beaten Trumbull, 4-0, in the opening game of the regular season back on Sept. 10 at Tiger Hollow.