Bears keep on rolling
By Andy Hutchison, Correspondent
FAIRFIELD — Norwalk High School’s boys soccer team improved to a perfect 6-0 in a 3-1 win at Fairfield Ludlowe on Tuesday night. Junior Mike Broncati, sophomore Kevin Joslyn and senior captain Andres Torres all scored in the win as Ludlowe fell to 1-3-2.
To the outsider, just looking at the early-season results, it seems things couldn’t get much better for the Bears — they are, after all, undefeated. But talk to Coach Chris Laughton and his players and you would think this team was struggling to find success. That perhaps says something about just how good this team can be when the Bears are on their game.
“I think this team is capable of having a great season — a memorable season,” Laughton said. “We just have to come out and work hard every single day.”
Laughton said he didn’t believe his team worked as hard as it can in Tuesday’s win.
“I think we were complacent at times. This wasn’t their best effort,” Laughton said. “Defensively, we weren’t as solid as we usually are. We gave up too many gaps and too many shots.”
The Bears had 23 shots on goal and held Ludlowe to far less chances, but the six saves Norwalk goalkeeper Svet Kozak had to make were more than Laughton would have preferred to see.
“We can work on a lot of stuff, especially defensively. I feel like we didn’t transition as quickly as we could,” senior captain Danny Quintero said.
“It’s good to get a win but I felt like we could have done a lot better,” senior captain Jake Zuniga added.
Laughton said that his team needs to finish more scoring chances. On the bright side, Norwalk did generate lots of opportunities and every team – even the best — has an off night from time to time.
The Bears weren’t exactly disappointed in the win but they don’t want to play below their capability and the players and coach realize that failing to play at their highest level could end up costing the Bears against better teams.
“It’s always nice — you never complain about winning a game,” said Laughton, going on to add that he would like to see much more out of his team. “I think we really didn’t play as well as we’re capable of playing.”
Of course, “I guess that’s a good sign,” the coach points out of winning despite not playing as well as the team can.
“We can definitely do better. We can move the ball around way better than we did tonight,” Torres added. “It felt good to get the win. We didn’t play our best but it feels good that we’re still undefeated.”
Norwalk built a 3-0 lead with all of the scoring coming in the first half. Zuniga, Ignacio Navarro and Spencer Jacoby all had assists. The early-game scoring success is a microcosm of this team’s outlook on the season. Despite all of the first-half scoring, the Bears felt they came out flat.
“We came out really flat — we tend to do that,” said Zuniga, adding that the team can become dangerous if it plays at its best right out of the gate. “When we play at our capability I feel like no one can stop us.”
All of this need for improvement aside, the fact is, things are going well for Norwalk, who used its speed and ball-dribbling skills to dominate much of the evening, impressing Ludlowe Coach Kevin O’Hara. “That’s a very skilled team — very technical, very skilled,” O’Hara said.
The Bears carried their winning ways into Thursday’s scheduled game at Staples (after press time). Norwalk returns home for an Oct. 4 game with Trinity Catholic of Stamford at 7:15 p.m.
The Bears have outscored opponents 23-4 in the early going and are enjoying the ride while staying focused on getting better.
“It’s fun but you’ve got to keep it up. You can’t let it get to your head,” Quintero said.
©2010 Norwalk Citizen
Top-ranked Bears knock off Ludlowe
FAIRFIELD — Norwalk scored three goals in the opening half and went on to defeat Fairfield Ludlowe, 3-1, in one of the few games that survived Tuesday’s dire weather forecast.
The Bears, the top-ranked team in the state high school soccer coaches poll, improved to 6-0 with the victory. Mike Broncati, Kevin Joslyn and Andres Torres scored for Norwalk with Jake Zuniga, Ignacio Navarro and Spencer Jacoby drawing the assists.
Freshman goalie Svet Kozak made six saves for the Bears, who outshot Ludlowe (1-3-2) by a 22-6 margin.
Next up for Norwalk is a Thursday afternoon clash with defending FCIAC and state champion Staples. The 4 p.m. clash will be played in Westport.
© 2010 The Hour Newspaper