By Andy Hutchison

The New Canaan boys soccer team has been in contention in all of its first three games, but as was the case in the first two, the Rams couldn't find the back of the net against visiting Fairfield Ludlowe on Monday night at New Canaan High School.

One goal was the difference as the Falcons made a first half score by Mark Dubovskiy stand up, thanks to a solid defensive effort for a 1-0 win.

Ludlowe improved to 1-1-0 and the Rams, despite allowing only four goals in three games, dropped to 0-3-0. New Canaan's other two defeats were a 1-0 decision to Staples and a 2-0 setback against Norwalk.

Dubovskiy's goal was assisted by Tulio Almedia after Almedia crossed the ball. According to New Canaan coach Richard Sutherland, the goal was made possible by New Canaan's inability to quickly clear the ball.

"We should have cleared the ball earlier," Sutherland said. "We just couldn't get the ball cleared quick enough."

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New Canaan goalkeeper Griffin Patterson and counterpart Frederick Meagher both had two saves. Patterson made one sparkling stop and also saw a few Ludlowe shots just miss or clank off the posts and crossbar. Ludlowe generated five corner kick opportunities to New Canaan's two.

The Rams kept pushing for the tying goal, but aggressive forwards Grant Beck and Alex Robey were stymied on multiple attacks.

Ludlowe Coach Kevin O'Hara credited his center backs Jordan Layne and Lorin Tobey for preventing New Canaan's go-to offensive threats from getting many in-close opportunities.

O'Hara noted that Matthew Galle, Richie Bellucci, Eric Winjum and Matthew Doyle all hit posts or placed shots within inches of the goal.

Winjum's best chance might have put the game out of reach. He banged a low blast off the post with about 12 minutes to play. That near miss gave the Rams a little life but the home team couldn't capitalize. O'Hara, despite his team coming away victorious, would have liked to see his team finish more of its chances.

"It's never easy. I think my boys played really well tonight," O'Hara said. "It was well played. I think we moved the ball well, we had some good scoring opportunities and we just couldn't finish. I thought in the first half we were moving the ball well, but we weren't going to the goal enough."

The Falcons were pleased to fend off the Rams and get their first victory.

"It can give us a lot of momentum going forward. The first win is always the hardest," Layne said.

Sutherland remains optimistic that his team will have its share of triumphs.

"It's a work in progress. We are getting better," said Sutherland, adding that if his team should succeed if it can maintain its hard-working level of play and clean up some mistakes.

"All of the goals we've conceded this year have been preventable," Robey said. "If we play more as a team and fight for each other we'll start to get points on the board."

Fairfield Ludlowe 1, New Canaan 0

FAIRFIELD LUDLOWE 1 0--1

NEW CANAAN 0 0--0

Records: Fairfield Ludlowe 1-1; New Canaan 0-3. Goals: FL-- Mark Dubovskiy. Assists: FL-- Tulio Almedia. Goalies: FL-- Frederick Meagher (2 saves); NC-- Griffin Patterson (2).