Norwich Tech earns respect in boys soccer matchup

NORWICH – Maybe it was the odd Monday morning start or a case of overconfidence, but Griswold boys soccer coach David Johnson noticed his high-flying Wolverines were a little too low-key during pre-game warmups.

The ECC’s top Division III team led Norwich Tech just 1-0 after one half. During halftime, Johnson reminded his players that this might have been a day off from school but not a holiday from playing the brand of soccer that has carried them to a 7-1-1 record.

“I’m sure many thought this would be a 5-0 game at half and I’d be pulling starters out in the second half,” Johnson said. “Mentally, we weren’t where we needed to be early.”

Griswold elevated its short-passing game and hustle to score a pair of second-half goals to post an arduous 3-0 victory in Norwich.

The Warriors may not have earned a win, but plenty of respect from Griswold, which got goals from Jacob Blanchard, Aiden Christie  and Evan Merchant.

“Norwich Tech is very improved,” Johnson said. “They made us pick it up to play the type of style that has gotten us this far.”

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The holiday game served purposes for both squads. Griswold tuned up for Wednesday’s ECC DIII showdown at Montville, while Norwich Tech (6-4 overall) upped its game to prep for tech-school divisional contests with Windham Tech and Ellis Tech.