Bloom nets four, BBA tops MAU
MANCHESTER — Leland and Gray transfer Jayden Bloom has brought a grit to the Burr and Burton boys soccer team.
He's a player who will go all out every play in order to secure a possession for his team.
Tuesday afternoon against rival Mount Anthony, Bloom used his speed to outrun the Patriots, scoring four goals in a 5-0 win for the Bulldogs.
"The guys know that Jayden is a finisher," said BBA coach Pete Mull. "He's been playing a lot of the season at defensive midfield, so he hasn't had a whole lot of chances up top. We decided to let him loose today. A lot of his shots were smart, low and hard."
Most of Bloom's goals were very similar, starting with a nice long ball hit from his teammates. Bloom made great runs on those balls and secured possession. before using his quickness to outrun the defenders and put the ball in the back of the net.
"We made the same mistake five times," said MAU coach Mike Molloy. "We're young and we don't have the speed. I think we'll get faster eventually, but we just don't have team speed in the front or in the back. Every single goal was the same goal, a long ball we didn't step to or close down. Our goal is to close down the space and not allow the long ball."
After a competitive first 13 minutes of play, the Bulldogs broke through with 26:36 left in the first half. Bloom took advantage of a well-played ball and outran MAU back line, forcing Patriots freshman goalkeeper Aiden Moscarello out of the goal as the last line of defense. Bloom perfectly placed the shot on the ground to the corner of the net and put BBA ahead.
Nacho Matas and Phoenix Heleba set up Bloom's other two first half goals.
Taking a 3-0 lead into halftime, the Bloom struck again about 30 seconds into the second half.
John Miceli netted an insurance goal, his second tally of the season, with 6:34 to play.
The Patriots are playing a majority of freshmen and sophomores, so they know there will be growing pains. With that in mind, Molloy was happy with how his team competed with a fairly experienced Bulldogs side, especially in the second half.
MAU had a nice scoring chance in the closing minutes, where freshman Peter McKenna sent a great cross from the right side of the field to a cutting Evan Eggsware. Eggsware got a nice shot far post, but BBA keeper Liam Day was game and made the save to his right.
"It was two guys working and getting to space," Molloy said. "They're sticking with us and doing what we're asking them to do."
Mull has been impressed with the Bulldogs' defensive effort throughout the season. Of their seven wins, five have been shut outs. Mull pointed to the play of Luke Lehmann in the center back role as critical to Tuesday's clean sheet.
"We've only allowed two goals in our seven wins, so the defense is really coming together." Mull said.
Sophomore Nicky Miceli, a recent junior varsity call-up, played at left back the whole game and more than held his own defensively as well.
BBA improves to 7-4 and plays Leland and Gray Wednesday at home.
MAU falls to 2-8-1 and plays Hartford at home Friday night. The Patriots need to win two out of their last three games to qualify for the Division I tournament, per MAU's win percentage standards.
Adam Aucoin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed at @AAucoin_Banner on Twitter.
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