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The last time Newton-Conover and Bandys met on the soccer field, the Red Devils blew out the Trojans 7-2 on the road.
On Monday, Bandys played much better but still was unable to get over the hump, dropping a difficult 3-0 game at Gurley Stadium.
â€śLast time we played them, we came out real fast, took it to them and the game was over in 10 minutes,â€ť said N-C coach Angelo Palozzi. â€śBandys has improved a lot. Thatâ€™s why they are sitting in a good place. They are a good, young team. I think we took them a little bit for granted after the last game. Hopefully, this is a wake-up call to these guys.â€ť
The Trojans (7-7-1, 7-4-1) played excellent defense in the first half, limiting the Red Devils (17-2-1, 11-0-0) to one goal.
Four minutes into the first half, Newton-Conoverâ€™s Douglas Palma kicked in a rebound shot after Greyson Fryeâ€™s header went off the left post.
It was the lone goal scored for the Red Devils in the half.
Palozzi attributed the slow start to his teamâ€™s conditioning.
â€śWe just came out sluggish,â€ť Palozzi said. â€śI gave the guys a couple of days off and you could kind of tell we werenâ€™t ready for Bandys. We know they are fighting for that third-place spot and we knew theyâ€™d come out and give us everything they had.â€ť
Bandys continued its aggressive mentality in the second half. The approach worked until halfway through the period.
Newton-Conover broke free from the close score, netting two goals separated by two minutes.
The first score came on a pass from Kevin Iglesias to Franklin Wepner at the 59th minute.
After his early miss, Frye finally scored a goal in the 61st minute off of a corner kick from Iglesias.
The two goals coupled with the lack of scoring by the Trojans lifted Newton-Conover to its 17th win of the season and 11th in conference play.
â€śWe had prepared to see this team again,â€ť said Bandys coach Mark Simmons. â€śTonight, we tried a couple of different things. My guys gave a fantastic effort tonight. Soccer is a game of finishing. You have to put the ball in the net. They took advantage of their changes tonight and unfortunately, we did not.â€ť
With the end of the regular season in site, Palozzi said he is preparing his team for what he hopes is a lengthy run in the playoffs.
â€śPlayoffs are going to be tough,â€ť he said. â€śHopefully we can get a couple wins here at home. We have some injuries that are keeping guys on the bench. Weâ€™ll see.â€ťView more articles in: