Trojan booters play Newtown to a tie
Although they are not as good as a win, Weston boys soccer coach Kevin Fitzsimmons points out that ties can be good.
The coach was happy about the scoreless deadlock with SWC foe Newtown, under the lights at home on Saturday.
"I was really happy with the performance - and also the result," said Fitzsimmons, noting that his defensive line did a great job of limiting Newtown's scoring chances to mostly long-range shots. "I felt like we were very strong in the final third."
What's more, all of the back-liners, as well as goalkeeper Ryan Major, are juniors and sophomores, giving Fitzsimmons confidence his team can make goal-scoring tough on opponents for seasons to come. The coach pointed to the play of Max Singer, Daniel Prorokovic, Jared Weisman and Ethan Lee-Tyson in the back.
The Trojans had a couple of late-game chances to break the tie and win the game, but Newtown goalkeeper Austin Puleri made two nice saves from in-close shots, the Weston coach noted. Newtown finished the game with a 13-8 shots advantage, but the Weston coach believed his team got the better of the quality chances.
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Newtown, which is one of the stronger teams in the conference from year to year, came into this clash having scored 12 goals in its last four games. The visiting Nighthawks left the field with a 4-1-1 mark, and Weston stands at 3-2-2.
Of the two ties Weston has had this year, the most recent was definitely the one Fitzsimmons would like to remember.
Because of the nature of the opponent, as well as the type of performance Weston put forth, Fitzsimmons said he was pleased with this tie. The coach noted that the Trojans did a good job of playing as a team in the battle with Newtown. He said the Trojans didn't have a solid possession game in a 2-2 deadlock with Bethel on Sept. 24. That was an example of a not-so-good tie, the coach said. "I want the team to possess the ball. I feel as a team we have no superstars," Fitzsimmons said.
After the tie with Bethel, Weston topped Stratford 4-1 on Sept. 27. "I thought we got back to business that night and played as a team," Fitzsimmons said.
That effort carried over in the Newtown clash, and now Weston will try to carry over the strong team play into the remainder of the schedule. "I think this was a huge confidence booster for us," the coach said of the result with Newtown.
The Trojans are shooting to qualify for the SWC tournament, which they missed out on last year, Fitzsimmons said. It won't be easy with the likes of Joel Barlow, Bunnell and Brookfield, among other tough conference rivals awaiting.
But, Fitzsimmons notes, his team has already earned a tie with Newtown and fel just a goal short to always tough Pomperaug in another good test. Last year, Weston knocked off Barlow for the first time in five years, the coach adds.
Fitzsimmons doesn't know how the rest of the campaign will play out, but the coach promises that his squad will try its best to qualify for the SWC tourney. "I know we're going to give it our best effort," he said.