A rematch would bring better results for the Joel Barlow High varsity field hockey team when it visited New Milford on Sept. 27.

The Falcons, who lost 2-1 to the same opponent in the opening game of the season, were better prepared the second time around. Although they did not score this time, their defense tightened up considerably, not allowing a goal in a 0-0 tie in overtime at Joe Wiser Field.

Joel Barlow High’s Annika Swabsin, left, battles New Milford’s Avery Dayton for the ball during a varsity field hockey game on Wednesday, Sept. 27. The game ended in a 0-0 tie. Photo by Rocco Valluzzo

“The girls did great,” said Barlow head coach Nora Curley. “New Milford is a great team. Coming out with a tie, I think, is great for us.”

A defensive battle from the start, the contest featured penalty corner shots by both sides in the first half. While the Green Wave had the upper hand in this respect, the Falcon defense withstood the threat, it remained a stalemate at halftime.

“We didn’t have our greatest start, but we talked about it,” said Curley, who spoke to her team at halftime. “We kind of came out in the second half, I think, a different team and ready to play.”

After neutralizing a couple of New New Milford corners in the third frame, the Falcons turned up the pressure a bit near the end of regulation time. In the last minute they forced two of their own before time expired.

“We had a few more opportunities especially in that fourth quarter, which was great,” said Curley. “I thought maybe we would get one of those corners in.”

Nothing was decided in the seven-on-seven, ten-minute overtime that followed. The Green Wave did come close when Maddie Deakin got past the Falcon defense but was turned away by Barlow goalie, Rachel Smith, who finished with four saves.

Barlow, now 2-5-2.overall, hosts Bethel on Saturday at 11 a.m., and visits Weston on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

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