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It's a draw for Simsbury, Farmington


By Ted Glanzer Staff Writer The recipe for success for the Farmington High boys soccer team, according to head coach Nick Boorman, is to score three goals every match. And, holding true to form, in the team’s first six matches of the season, the River Hawks (4-1-1) scored at least three goals in its four victories (6-0 vs. Newtown; 8-0 vs. Bristol Central and 3-1 wins over Glastonbury and Conard). Farmington’s lone loss was to Hall, 3-0 on Sept. 13. Against CCC and Class LL rival Simsbury (3-1-2) on the turf field at Tunxis Meade on Sept. 28, the River Hawks were only able to muster a lone goal against the Trojans en route to a hard-fought 1-1 draw. “We didn’t get anywhere near [three goals] tonight,” Boorman said. Not that either team was necessarily complaining about the result. “These were two really good teams that are contenders in LL,” Boorman said. “Both teams left everything on the field and I give Simsbury a lot of credit for how they played.” Simsbury High head coach Mike McCullough offered similar comments about the match. “It wasn’t always pretty for us, but I thought the boys battled really hard,” he said. “We stayed condensed, we stayed compact and tried not to give away anything. We tried to transition the best we could. … There’s a lot of quality on that side of the ball for sure and I thought we had a good plan, we were doubling the right guys in the right spots and trying to make the space small.” The Trojans carried out their game plan to near perfection in the first half, sitting deep and looking for opportunities on the counter, frustrating Farmington’s potent front line to a scoreless draw heading into the interval. In the second half, Farmington was able to open things up more, with Caden Gallagher breaking through with a goal on a run down the center of the pitch off a slide-rule pass from Graham Peterson. Simsbury keeper Jack Rogers nearly saved on Gallagher’s effort, only to see the ball bounce in just across the line to give the River Hawks a 1-0 lead in the 52nd minute. “We played much better in the second half. We played more selfless, more as a unit,” Boorman said. “We brought more of what we have been doing in practice into the game. We switched the field really well, we possessed really well and we created chances in the second half.” But while the River Hawks created more chances, the second - let alone the third - goal proved to be elusive. Simsbury tested Farmington keeper Josh Wagor a few times throughout the match and ultimately claimed an equalizer when the ball pinged around the box off a corner and found the side foot of Miles Moody, who lofted his effort into the net in the 69th minute. Both sides could feel a bit hard done with a draw, as Simsbury had a couple of chances minutes later to possible claim a second goal and a smash-and-grab victory. “I was thinking, maybe we could have gotten more out of this,” McCullough said. “They’re well coached, they’re a really good team. I’m really just pleased with my team’s effort how they came out and competed. We knew we had to meet or exceed their energy level.” At the other end of the pitch, Farmington had an opportunity in the game’s waning moments by earning a penalty. But Rogers dove to his right and saved Gallagher’s effort, all but ensuring a draw. “It was a good shot; great save by the keeper,” Boorman said. “The goalie guessed right. He’s a very good keeper. … I credit Simsbury for stifling our offense.” McCullough, for his part, said he’s pleased with his team at this point in the season. “There’s always stuff you hope along the way,” he said. “We had some tough breaks. We’re a young team. We have maybe four guys with lots of varsity minutes. We’re still getting used to one another. As long as we keep getting better every game, this is just a leaping off point for us.” Boorman was similarly effusive about his team. “Our team when we’re playing our best we’re really tough to beat,” he said. “We’re playing as a unit, we’re compact. We possess the ball. We’ve got a group of really hard-working, smart players. We just need to be more consistent. That’s what we’re building here.”

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