BENNINGTON >> It was tough sledding for the Mount Anthony girls soccer team against Rutland on Friday afternoon.
After beating Rutland last week 2-1, the Patriots had a tougher time against the Raider a second time around, losing by a score of 3-0.
Right out of the blocks, the Patriots found themselves playing from behind.
With a little under five minutes gone by in the first half, Rutland midfielder Logan Kinsman lined a floating shot from just above midfield that sailed over the outstretched hand of Patriots goalkeeper Erika McCarthy and into the net, giving the Raiders an early 1-0 lead.
The Raiders offense got back on the attack just under 10 minutes later, with Megan Hamilton this time scoring the Raider goal off a nice pass from teammate Maggie Schillinger that extended the Patriots deficit to two.
"They were able to get a couple goals early on their in the first half and that puts in a big hole to begin the game," said MAU coach Mark Boudreau. "When your a team like us that is still trying find an identity, it's tough trying win a game when you tough hill to climb at the start of it."
The Patriots revved up their offensive attack with being down two, but couldn't find the net on any of their scoring opportunists and had a couple turnovers deep in the Rutland box.
Senior Emily Altland had a chance to cut the Patriots deficit to one going into the half, but just like MAU's scoring opportunities before, Altland's direct kick went just wide of the net and MAU went into the half down 2-0.
"We just couldn't find the net all game," Boudreau said. "We didn't have many good touches, which resulted in some of the turnovers we had. We just didn't do the little things we needed to help us get back in the game."
With in 10 minutes of the second half, the Patriots saw their deficit increase off an unlucky bounce when Rutland's Brianna Arduca shot bounced off an MAU player and into to the net that extended the Raiders lead to 3-0.
The rest of the second half were lost touches by the Patriots, losing possession of the ball any time they got close to the Raiders box.
With not being able generate any offense, the Patriots saw their record drop 3-4 on the season as the clock hit zero.
McCarthy recorded four saves for the Patriots in the loss.
"We're just flat right," Boudreau said follow the loss. "We have been dealing with a lot of injuries in the early part of the season and that hurt us to gain sort of continuity on the field. We need to focus on getting healthy and becoming a better unit on the field to get out of this little slump we have."
With the loss, the Patriots have now lost their last two game.
MAU will look to turn things around when they travel to play Mill River on Wednesday and Boudreau believes the team has the ability to do that.
"We just play things simple and not try to do too much out there," Boudreau said. "With improved fitness levels and getting girls back healthy will really us as we move to the mid-way point of the season. Also I'm hoping this tough stretch can light a fire in the girls and get them motivated to get back on track."