— Michael Fornabaio (@fornabaioctp) April 23, 2021
WESTON — In a battle of two young but talented SWC boys lacrosse teams, little things might make a difference.
Newtown thought it made a few mistakes. Weston thought it brought something that’d been lacking in its first three wins. In the end, Weston came out with a 7-6 home win Thursday night to improve to 4-0.
“We knew this was going to be a pretty tough game,” said Trojans senior midfielder Jacob Strouch, who scored three goals.
“We haven’t really been tested yet. We’re a young team. We knew we had to come with energy. We really came with energy today. Everyone was hyped. The bench was hyped. The field was hyped.”
Nico Bilbao scored off a Will Harris feed 1:04 into the second half, Xander Nevitt scored out of the left corner 20 seconds later, and the Trojans had a lead for good.
“Some guys stepped up and made big plays, Jacob Strouch, Alexander Nevitt,” Weston coach Josh Thornton said. “They made the plays when they needed to. Our goalie Andrew Albert made big saves when he needed to as well.”
Jake Bulkley and Mark Sokk scored in the fourth quarter for Newtown (3-2), cutting a 7-4 lead down to a goal. The Nighthawks had the ball with under two minutes left, but Weston picked up a ground ball, and two Newtown penalties let the Trojans kill the clock.
“We’re still a young team. We’re still trying to find our identity. I like the way we played,” Newtown coach Scott Bulkley said.
“I thought we played hard. I think we made too many mental mistakes.”
Not helping matters is Newtown started the season in quarantine. Thursday was its fifth game in 10 days and third in the past four. The Nighthawks have had seven practices.
“No chance to really get continuity yet. We’re still just getting all our guys back,” the coach said. “It’s not an excuse, because we’ve got to play better and smarter, but not having all those weeks of practice definitely hurt us.”
Newtown had six different players score a goal, two of them sophomores. Three sophomores and a freshman recorded at least a point for Weston. Thornton said the young lineup is learning from its mistakes.
“But guys are getting a lot of important time early in their careers,” he said. “We’re going to coach them through it.”
Thursday wasn’t, Strouch said, “our cleanest game. But the energy really carried us.”