Joslyn knows the score
By STEVE GEOGHEGAN
Hour Staff Writer
NORWALK — Norwalk High boys soccer player Kevin Joslyn may be a cut up off the field, but on it he’s all business.
Joslyn, a senior forward and three-year starter, jokes often with his teammates to try and keep them loose. Another way he helps his teammates is by finding the back of the net, just as often as when he has them in stitches.
“He’s really a funny kid and likes to joke around,” NHS head coach Chris Laughton said. “He’s got a great sense of humor and does a good job of lightening the mood. On the field, he’s focused and engaged in the game. He wants to win every time out there.”
Joslyn has been a key cog in the Bears’ run to the Class LL state championship game, which takes place on Friday against Fairfield Prep. He has 21 goals, including three game-winners in the states, and five assists this season. As far as Joslyn’s concerned, he wouldn’t be able to do what he does without his teammates.
“We’re all just doing our jobs,” he said. “With the defenders getting shutouts and the midfielders getting balls through, we’re all clicking.” For every time Joslyn has been able to score, there are twice as many times where he comes up empty.
“Some may say it’s luck but as a forward, it’s about being in the right place at the right time,” Joslyn said. “It’s about seeing the play before it happens. It’s a gamble and the one time (you’re able to score) could be the game-changer.”
It hasn’t been easy at times since Joslyn is often double-teamed and man-marked. Laughton said he’s seen a lot of defensive attention the last two years (Joslyn tallied 19 goals as a junior) yet plays through it.
“He still finds a way to put the ball in the back of the net,” the head coach said.
Laughton has certainly had his share of finishers in his tenure as head coach, with Nick Zuniga and Andres Torres two of the most notable, and the head coach said Joslyn ranks up there with the best he’s ever coached.
“He has a nose for the goal and you can’t teach that,” he said. “One of his greatest attributes is his ability to understand and read the game.”
One such example would be in the Class LL quarterfinals against Newtown. Trailing 1-0 at halftime, the Bears rallied behind two second-half goals in a five-minute span by Joslyn en route to a 2-1 victory.
Laughton said it was the best game Joslyn had played all season.
“We didn’t play our best that game but we found a way to win,” Joslyn said.
For good measure, Joslyn scored both of his team’s goals in a 2-1 win over Stamford in the LL state semifinals and has six tallies in four state tourney games.
“He’s really come up big when we’ve needed it most,” Laughton said.
As for the future, Joslyn said he would like to play in college. Laughton believes Joslyn has the ability to play and excel at the next level.
But he’s still got one more game of high school soccer left and he said he and his teammates are going to leave everything on the field on Friday to try and help the program win its first state crown since 1966.
“It means so much,” he said of playing in the title tilt. “In the past we’ve been upset so many times. We said that this year is going to be our year of redemption and it’s coming true.”
That’s no joke.
© The Hour Newspaper
Norwalk Soccer Star Finds Scoring Touch At Right Time
By Tom Renner
NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk senior Kevin Joslyn has had long scoring droughts when the net looks like a thimble, and other times when the goal feels so wide it’s like kicking the ball into the ocean.
During the last two games, Joslyn has been unstoppable in leading the Bears to Friday’s Class LL championship game against Fairfield Prep. Joslyn scored two goals in a 2-1 quarterfinal win over Newtown and added two more in a 2-1 win over Stamford.
In four games in the state tournament, Joslyn has six goals. He also scored a goal in Norwalk’s 5-1 win over Wilton in the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference semifinals, helping the Bears to earn a share of the league title for the first time since 2002.
“It’s hard when you get into a long scoring drought,” said Joslyn, who has a team high 23 goals for the Bears (20-1-1). “I’ve definitely seen both sides of it. You just have to keep playing your game, don’t try to change anything. It will come eventually. Things rarely go your way in soccer. You just have to stay patient.”
Joslyn’s goal-scoring flurry could not have come at a better time for Norwalk, which is trying to win the state title for the first time since 1966. In the quarterfinal win over Newtown, Joslyn’s goal with three minutes remaining lifted the Bears. Joslyn’s game-winner against Stamford was nearly as dramatic, coming with 21 minutes left to snap a 1-1 tie.
“Last year, I scored the game-winning goal against Farmington, and a couple of times I’ve scored for Beachside (Premier) in State Cup games,” he said. “On this team it doesn’t matter who scores the goals. Whoever scores, scores.”
The Bears have been one of the top teams in the state, and Joslyn has been a key player for the past three years. But they have not made it to a state championship game and were knocked out in the first round of the league tournament in each of the past two years.
“It’s almost past frustration to the point of annoyance,” Joslyn said. “You can understand it happening one year, but two years in a row? It really makes you wonder. The mentality this year is just tremendous. We refuse to do anything less than win the state championship.”
Norwalk is led by a group of 13 seniors, many of whom will play in college. Norwalk’s only loss was to Wilton, 4-1, on Oct. 3. “The same thing happened last year when we lost during the regular season and went on a long winning streak,” Joslyn said. “It was a wakeup call for us. It stinks that we couldn’t keep an undefeated season going, but in hindsight it may have been good. It proved that we’re not indestructible.”
Only one hurdle remains for the Bears, the third-seeded Jesuits, who have knocked off two other FCIAC teams en route to the final. Joslyn expects another tight one.
“I think it’s going to be a one goal game,” he said. “Nobody’s going to win by three or four goals. It’s going to come down to who finishes their chances. Each team is strong. It should be a tight game.”
© Norwalk Daily Voice