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Missed Chances Lead to Barlow's Draw With Weston

Weston High coach Kevin Fitzsimmons and Joel Barlow High coach Paul Winstanley were disappointed in their teams after Monday’s boys soccer match. Fitzsimmons was frustrated that his young team squandered an early goal. And Winstanley was upset that his boys could not capitalize on second-half possessions to push for more than a 1-1 draw.

The Trojans were the first on the board, needing less than three-and-a-half minutes to pick up the first goal of the game. Jensen Frost put Weston up early with a goal in the fourth minute off a pass from Josh Karpen. But Fitzsimmons said after the game the early lead might have made his boys “overconfident.”

“In the first half, Barlow played really well, and I think my team was just shell-shocked,” Fitzsimmons said. “I think we never actually caught on after that shock.”

The Falcons equalized at the start of the 35th minute. Senior Jeremy Nelle netted a goal with a header off a pass from fellow captain Jeffrey Cohen, putting the home team even with the visiting Weston. Barlow threatened again late in the half with a strong shot from William Bracken, but Weston goalkeeper Christian Almeden made a diving save to preserve the tie into the half.

Barlow dominated possession through the second half, rarely letting Weston approach its goal. But the Falcons could not break the tie, despite multiple close tries from Bracken. Winstanley said after the game that his team needed to work on its performance at the extreme ends of the field.

“It wasn’t for lack of chances that we didn’t get goals,” he said. “But finishing, just like defending intelligently, requires communication and some form of proactive mentality. … So that when the ball arrives, you actually have a plan. I believe we play without a plan way too often.”

Weston’s record moves to 5-2-3 after the draw. Its next match is at home against Bunnell on Thursday. Joel Barlow’s record now stands at 5-2-2. It will face New Fairfield at home Thursday.

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