REDDING — Dicey conditions under Tuesday-night lights were no problem for Barlow’s Ben Goodacre, in on both goals in the Falcons’ 2-0 win over Law in the first round of the CIAC Class L boys soccer tournament.
“I personally enjoy it a lot more. The ball just skips,” Goodacre said. “Defenders make a lot more mistakes, which you can use to your advantage. It showed. We had a lot of forward attacks because of these mistakes.”
Goodacre scored on a long shot 22:17 into the game. Barlow’s possession game controlled the second half, and the Falcons added a goal with 8:33 remaining.
Ninth-seeded Barlow (14-5-1) advances to Thursday’s second round, where it will meet either eight-seeded Branford (12-4-2) or No. 25 Harding (6-8-2). The Hornets and Presidents will complete their first-round game on Wednesday; it was suspended at halftime, with Branford up 2-0, because of a power failure.
Law, the 24th seed, finishes 6-9-2.
“We’re really, really resilient group. We’re in the SCC, so it’s a high-powered conference,” Law coach Mike Gruber said.
“We tied Guilford this year (scoreless on Oct. 15), which is a great result for us, but we’re still looking for that state victory. We’ve got to believe a little bit more. We step on the field, we’ve got to believe, especially when we’re playing a higher seed.”
Tuesday’s game was moved from a 2 p.m. start four hours later to avoid heavy afternoon rain. It just made it: Torrents were still coming down, off and on, even just about 30 minutes before the 6 p.m. kickoff.
A few slips and skips led to Barlow turnovers, though the Falcons defense regrouped.
“Normally it should take you two or three minutes to say ‘aha,’ and typically in warmup, ‘got it, now I have to adjust,’” Barlow coach Paul Winstanley said.
“Adjustments come so hard, and that’s one of the things that has been a problem for us all year. If everybody plays to our expectation, we should be one of the toughest teams in the state, but I don’t feel like our actual application on the field has made us look like one of the toughest teams in the state.”
The Falcons managed Tuesday. Law opened up packing it in, keeping all but one man in its end even when the Falcons had the ball in their own end.
“I watched a couple of their games. I knew their possession was very, very good, and I knew that they moved the ball very, very well, and if we got out of shape, we would’ve been in trouble,” Gruber said. “So we wanted to make sure we kept it close for the first half, which we did. The kid had a great shot.”
Barlow cracked through with long shots, including Goodacre’s hard shot that found the net.
“They were just giving us a lot of time around the 25-yards line,” Goodacre said. “We just decided to take long shots and test the keeper, and eventually it paid off. That was the one that I just had space.”
Barlow controlled the ball most of the second half, keeping the Lawmen from generating even a shot. With under nine minutes left, Jack Warren sent Goodacre ahead into the left corner, and Goodacre fed Pablo Correa Ramirez in front to put it away.
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BARLOW 2, LAW 0
Records: Law 6-9-2; Barlow 14-5-1. Goals: B—Ben Goodacre, Pablo Correa Ramirez. Assists: B—Max Baer, Goodacre, Jack Warren. Goalies: L—Dan Majkut (6 saves), Tim Hanna (0); B—John Hoeing (1). Shots: L—4; B—17.