MAU, BBA to meet in John James final
In the first game, the Burr and Burton boys soccer team beat Arlington, 3-1, before Mount Anthony topped Brattleboro, 2-1, in the nightcap.
MAU took charge right away against the Colonels, pressing up throughout. After a couple of nice saves by the Brattleboro keeper to make the game stay at 0-0, Mount Anthony finally went ahead in the 17th minute.
Goalie Dylan Woodside blasted a goal kick three-quarters of the way down the field and found Potter running on to it. The Colonel keeper, Emmett Dews, was aggressive, coming out of the net to make a play on the ball. But Potter beat him to it, shielded him off and tapped it in for a 1-0 lead.
Woodside got his first assist of the year with the big boot on the goal kick.
"That will not be his only assist this season, I guarantee that," said MAU coach Mike Molloy. "He's definitely a weapon for us back there."
MAU nearly doubled the lead on a set piece. On a corner kick, Joshua Schmid got up for the header but skimmed it off the crossbar, keeping the game at 1-0. Moments later, Potter did double the lead on a great individual effort. He got another long ball from the back line and played it up forward. He got through a handful of defenders about 15 yards away from the net and put a rocket shot past Dews to take a 2-0 lead to halftime.
"Defenders can't keep up with him," Molloy said. "He's a load to try and stop, because he's fast and strong."
Brattleboro scored with 90 seconds left against the run of play before Mount Anthony held the ball to finish the game with the victory.
"We had a better second half then the first, even though we scored both goals in the first half," Molloy said. "We just couldn't finish, we hit a bar here and a post there."
In the first game of the night, Arlington took a 1-0 lead on a penalty kick from Will Stewart. The foul came just inside the box and the referee called for the penalty late, but Stewart calmly blasted it in.
Two minutes later, Burr and Burton returned the favor. A foul was called on Arlington, giving Ben Stewart a chance from the penalty area. He hit it hard and low and in to tie the match at 1-1 with 11:23 left in the half.
"Ben's taken probably six or seven PKs and he's never missed one," Mull said. "He's just really calm, with good skill, so we have a lot of faith in him."
The goal was the first Arlington had allowed this season, in the Eagles' third game. They started the season with 189 minutes scoreless up to that point.
The eventual game-winning score came a couple of minutes after the penalty kick. In the run of play, Bennie Osnow was the recipient of a good pass and he slotted it past Arlington keeper Bailey Cross to take the lead.
"Bennie's goal was beautiful, low and hard inside, and it was the winning score," said BBA coach Pete Mull. "This is the James Tournament. You can't count on a lead or winning because you have a little more skill, you have to play in it every single second."
The second half was all Burr and Burton.
BBA took a 3-1 lead six minutes into the half as Daniel Hatheway found freshman Sean Lam, who zipped one past Cross. Arlington had a nice chance a few minutes later when they got the ball deep into Bulldog territory but Lewis Whalen was unable to convert on a ball in front, persevering the two-goal lead.
"We played pretty well in the first 10 minutes, moved the ball well, but we tended to get clogged up in the middle a little bit," Mull said. "Ian [MacFarlane] came in as a sub, he's good at finding open space and runners with the ball."
They continued to press Cross, who had a good game in goal with eight saves.
BBA improves to 1-1, while Arlington drops to 2-1.
"We're looking forward to Saturday night," Mull said.
The consolation game between Arlington and Brattleboro will be at 5 p.m. on Saturday and the championship between BBA and MAU is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
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