Big second half sends CVU past Patriots

BENNINGTON — For 40 minutes on Wednesday, the Mount Anthony boys soccer team went step for step with Champlain Valley, the No. 1 team in the state in Division I.

Unfortunately, for the Patriots, high school games in Vermont are 80 minutes.

A tired MAU squad allowed a goal in the first three minutes of the second half and ended up on the wrong end of a 6-1 loss at Spinelli Field.

"They have about 24 guys that can keep rotating through, [we have less subs]," said MAU coach Mike Molloy. We dont have the numbers in the program that a CVU does. We had tired legs at the end."

The Patriots, playing a rare afternoon game on the Spinelli Field turf, took it to the Redhawks in the early going, forcing CVU to play a little more defense in the first few minutes.

That pressure resulted in a indirect free kick near the 20-yard line in the sixth minute. Franklin Cody tapped it to Josua Schmid, who spun it past the RedHawks wall and into the far post to take a 1-0 lead.

A few minutes later, MAU nearly doubled the lead on a header that went just wide off the outside of the post.

"I thought we legitimately played as well as we could, we missed a chance to go up two," Molloy said. "I though we bent but didn't break on defense in the first half, but they were the better team and more fresh."

On a little bit of cluster in the 22nd minute, CVU had a player pulled down in the box for a penalty kick, a play that Molloy felt should have been called earlier with his own player down.

Nonetheless, the Redhawks had the PK attempt and senior Ivan Llona blasted it home to tie the game.

"They didn't start too well, they were a bit casual, but they got more in the game halfway through," Molloy said.

MAU goalie Dylan Woodside, hobbled a bit, kept the score tied for the rest of the first half, on some terrific saves off the CVU counter-attack. On one, he had a slide tackle to stop a RedHawk rush, then dove sideways on another attempt to knock the ball away.

After all that, the Patriots were tied 1-1 at the break.

"We figured it should have been 1-1 at half, we'll be happy with that," Molloy said. "Then they scored right off the bat."

Only 2:43 into the half, Brigham Francis got past a MAU defender and beat Woodside to go ahead 2-1.

MAU had trouble staying up with the CVU pace and it cost them a couple of goals in rapid succession.

Francis scored again, seemingly past a blinded Woodside with the sun bearing down on Spinelli Field. Two minutes later, Erik Stolen got a foot on a corner kick and knocked it home to go up 4-1 in a blink of an eye.

"We started to go direct [at goal] like they did, and they were better," Molloy said. "They started their runs farther back in the second half, and we couldn't keep up."

Chris Nolan made a terrific play to save another score when Woodside came off his line, but the Redhawks were too much as Nicolas Durieux added the final two goals in the last 15 minutes.

"We can play with them. The 6-1 scoreline is harsh and deceiving. We gave them a battle, at halftime [CVU] knew they had to pick it up," Molloy said. "This was our check to see where we're at as far as the Northern teams go. They aren't that far ahead of us, but they are ahead. We can compete with teams like CVU and Essex, we just weren't able to put it through for a [full 80 minutes]."


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