BRISTOL - With under two minutes to go in the overtime period, both the Bristol Central and Newington boys soccer teams were looking for the game-winner.
It was David Bowes who delivered the deciding goal for the Rams, his second of the game, with 1:31 remaining in overtime off an assist from Yanni Koci resulting in Bristol Central’s 2-1 victory on a frigid Wednesday afternoon. It was the third straight win for the Rams (6-4-1) and just the second loss for Newington (5-2-3).
“I’ve been playing soccer for awhile and I’m not a natural goal scorer, but coach asked me to step up because they needed somebody up top so I obviously volunteered to do it,” Bowes said. “It may not be my best position but I certainly try my hardest. Obviously, those goals wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for the passes my teammates gave me.”
Bowes was the player to put the Rams on top first with a goal 11:52 minutes into the first half off of an assist from Diego Naranjo.
Just minutes later Newington’s Hermish Adarkwah put in the equalizer to tie it up 1-1 and keep the Indians right in it.
“It was pretty big because to get scored on everybody’s head was down and to bring the team up feels better,” Adarkwah said. “We needed that one.”
Bristol Central had plenty of chances in the game that were denied by goalkeeper Jack DeGirolamo.
But late in the second half DeGirolamo and Naranjo collided with each other and were each given cards. Naranjo returned, but DeGirolamo did not.
“I mean as the goalie he’s the field general for us but our backup goalie [Colin Liedke] does a great job for us too,” Newington assistant coach Shayne Munoz said. “They both do a great job of stepping in whenever we need them. So I wouldn’t say it was a big let down to the team because both of them do a great job communicating. But anytime you’re starting goalie isn’t able to be out there it’s tough. I think that communication throughout the whole field needs to be picked up more.”
The Indians didn’t have as many chances as the Rams forced Newington to play a different style of game.
“They forced us to play right down the middle,” Munoz said. “And we weren’t able to figure that out, we just kept putting the ball right down the middle instead of trying to get the ball out wide and get crosses in. That’s a good team right there and they had a good plan of attack that we couldn’t figure out.”
Bristol Central goalkeeper Danny Gaudoin had a few collisions in the game as well, but kept getting back up and fighting through the physicality Newington brought. The first-year keeper for the Rams finished with nine saves.
“It definitely was one of the more physical games I’ve been in, but I was just happy that we were able to come out here and get the win,” Gaudoin said. “This is a team that was a pretty big opponent for us and now we have a better chance of getting into the [state] tournament.”
Coming into the overtime period Bristol Central’s head coach Nate Jandreau wasn’t pleased with what he was seeing, but the final result was a different story.
“I was a little upset with the way they came off at the end of the second half and they would tell you that too because I thought we tried to make excuses for ourselves,” Jandreau said. “Not so much vocally, but in our facial expressions and I let them know that before we started the overtime.”
“They responded very well and it’s one of those character type building wins,” he added. “Newington is a very good team with a really good record. This is the type of team you play in the tournament. So for us to dig in and win in overtime really shows character.”
Dan Orencole can be reached at (860) 973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org