First half struggles doom Patriots in loss to Rutland
BENNINGTON — The Mount Anthony boys soccer team's recent struggles continued on Thursday night, with the Patriots losing to Rutland 5-0.
Just like the teams' matchup last week, the Raiders shut down the Patriots offense and scored at will to improve to 4-5-1 on the season.
The story of game was the first half itself, where struggles for the Patriots allowed Rutland to take control of the contest.
With just over 10 minutes gone by in the first half, a MAU penalty gave a Rutland a free kick, just under the midfield strike.
The penalty proved costly for MAU as Keegan Bliss smacked the free kick into the Patriots' box where Jacob Godfrey got a foot on the ball to tip into the net for the first goal of the game.
That was just the start to a historic day for Godfrey who just moments later struck again for Rutland, beating MAU goalie Dylan Woodside for the loose ball off a Raider clear and knocked it home to give Rutland a 2-0 lead.
"We let Rutland take of advantage those 50-50 balls and that put us in a tough spot to start the game," said MAU coach Mike Molloy. "We have to get better at fighting to get those loose ball s for the whole game instead of only doing it for 10 to 15 minutes of the game."
Godfrey capped off his terrific day a few minutes later, powering a line drive shot that went over the head of Woodside and into the net, giving Rutland a 3-0 lead and Godfrey his first career hat trick.
"It feels great to get a hat trick," Godfrey said. "Our team saw that the MAU goalkeeper was coming out of the goal a lot, so I knew if I had a decent look I could take a shot at the goal and thankfully I knocked that one in."
The Raiders continued to pour it on in the first half, capitalizing on a mistake by the MAU defense that left Bliss wide open off the corner kick by Jacob Henderson and the junior banked his shot home to give Rutland a 4-0 lead with 14 minutes go in the half.
Rutland capitalized on another MAU defensive lapse in the last six minutes of the first half when Ryan Sihler came out of the pile with the ball in the Patriots box and ripped in his first goal of the game, giving Rutland all five of their goals in the first half alone.
"It wasn't a good first half of play for us to say the least," Molloy said. "We were waiting for someone or something good to happen for us, instead of going out there and doing it ourselves."
Just like the defense, the MAU offense struggled a lot in the first and for the entire game for that matter.
The Patriots didn't have a shot on goal in the entire game.
Even with their first half struggles, Molloy was pleased with his team's performance in the second half as the Patriots continued battle hard, keeping Rutland off the board to finish the game with some fight.
Jack Rogge did a good job in goal for MAU in the second half, recording two of his three saves in the period.
With the loss, MAU drops to 4-5 on the season and are now losers of three straight games.
The Patriots will try to get back on track when they travel to play rival Burr and Burton on Monday, which Molloy believes they can after the team's effort in the second half.
"I'm hoping that our recent struggles bottom out after the good second half we played tonight," Molloy said. "I think being away and also facing BBA will help us too. We just have to get back to the basics right now and hopefully that can help us turn our season around a bit."
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