Bulldogs control rivalry matchup against MAU


MANCHESTER >> The second go around between the Mount Anthony and the Burr and Burton girls soccer teams proved to be the same as their first one in the Lady Patriot Classic.

BBA scored quickly to seize control the game and cruised to a 3-0 victory over their rivals, improving to 9-1 on the season.

"We moved ball well as a team all game long and that helped us grab an early lead," said BBA coach Suzanne Mears. "We consistently push the ball forward in the MAU zone for most of the game, keeping them from getting much offense going. Everyone on our team played well today."

Just like in the their first matchup, BBA was able to take an early 1-0 lead in the first four minutes of the game when Grace Pinkus sent a perfect pass to Sky Woodard in the box, and the sophomore banked it home for the game's first goal.

Sky's sister Brooke extended the Bulldogs' lead a little over five minutes later.

The senior blasted a shot, which came from a nice give and go with teammate Emma Perry, that went off MAU goalie Erika McCarthy's finger tips and into the net to give BBA a 2-0 lead.

"Our offense had really good ball movement and that helped open up a pocket for me to get into their box to get a good shot on goal," Brooke Woodard said. "We did a good job on offense spreading the MAU defense out and finding open holes for scoring opportunities."

The game stalled at 2-0 until the 4:34 mark of the first half when Carly Gayda scored her first goal of the game to extend the Bulldogs' lead to three.

To that point in the half, MAU hadn't had a shot on goal yet in the contest.

The Patriots finally got a shot on goal when Cat Worthington broke away from the pack and had a clear path to the goal, but Georgia Lord came from out of nowhere with a nifty slide tackle that affected Worthington's shot, which went wide of the net, keeping the Patriots off the scoreboard.

Worthington's shot was the only shot on goal that the Patriots mustered in the game against the Bulldogs' stingy defense.

"Everyone on defense played well today," Lord said. "From the back line to the girls in the midfield, everybody did a good job keeping MAU from getting a lot of shots on goal."

BBA has held MAU scoreless in each of their games this season.

The Bulldogs continued to control the pace of the game in the second half, creating a couple scoring chances, but were held in check by McCarthy who racked up three of her five saves in the half for MAU.

"Erika did a great job in net there to help keep us in the game," said MAU coach Mark Bourdreau. "Our team always has great confidence in her that she will do her job to keep us in the game."

The Patriots though couldn't capitalize on McCarthy's efforts to keep them in the game and the Bulldogs were able to cruise to their sixth straight win.

"Overall, I am very happy with our team's performance today," Mears said. "The girls are doing a good job connecting the dots out there and playing with great confidence. Hopefully we continue this play as we move towards the end of the regular season."

With the win, MAU drops to 4-5 on the season.

The Patriots were without senior captain Emily Altland who was injured in Monday's practice and her status for the rest of the season is unknown.

"It's tough to see one of your leaders go down," Bourdreau said on Altland's injury. "Injuries have affected us all season long. I don't think we have had a game yet where we haven't had a player come out for some sort of injury. It's just been that type of season, but the girls aren't giving up and are rallying around Emily."

A for the loss, Bourdreau said the defeat was a character sort of game for the Patriots.

"I thought the team played hard all game long," Bourdreau said. "The girls showed a lot of grit out there against a tough opponent in BBA and hopefully we can build off this loss in our next game against Fair Haven."

The Patriots will next travel to play Fair Haven on Friday, while BBA will host Rutland on Friday as well.


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