Bulldogs, Patriots play to 1-1 draw

BENNINGTON — Any time the Mount Anthony and Burr and Burton boys soccer teams meet, the game is guaranteed to be intense, close and come down to the last moments.

It happened a couple of weeks ago at the John James Tournament, when MAU won on a goal with three minutes left.

It happened again on Friday night, as MAU and BBA played for 100 minutes and couldn't be separated, each coming out with index points in a 1-1 tie at Spinelli Field.

"I thought we played well overall, there were some spots where it cracked a little bit," said MAU coach Mike Molloy. "We controlled the play and got them to resort to the long ball over the top. It was a battle, [both teams] earned the points tonight."

Lots of action happened in the overtimes as the teams started to play more back-and-forth, looking for a winner.

MAU got the first chance at a corner kick and Adam Sampsell nearly scored for the Patriots, but Burr and Burton cleared. A couple minutes later, Mount Anthony had another corner kick. Franklin Cody took the corner and MAU got a touch but BBA goalie Garren Aberth flashed in between his defenders and came up with a stop.

MAU's best chance came with 7:12 left in the first overtime. Jeff Potter was fouled near the penalty area, and BBA set up the wall on defense. Josua Schmid's free kick curled in toward the frame but ended up hitting the post and bouncing away.

"You have to keep your cool in goal, make sure your head is in the game," Aberth said. "On that play, I had to know how many were on the wall, and trust my striker to set it up. It was a nice free kick, and it could have gone in any other day."

MAU had yet another set piece early in the second overtime, but the Burr and Burton defense was up to the task with a clear out. Moments later, BBA's Daniel Hatheway got free behind the defense but his shot was rushed and ended up way over the net for a goal kick.

With three minutes left, Aberth made a save on a throw-in and at the other end, Woodside was forced to make a save on the counter attack. In the final seconds, MAU had a last-ditch effort, but the BBA defense held and the game ended in a draw.

"We took it to them in OT, for us, we're not so happy with the tie, but it's better than a loss," Molloy said. "We have to play them a week from now at BBA. It's a rivalry game and they get up for it."

The first half ended scoreless and it looked like whoever would score first in the second half would come out victorious. Eventually that came from the Patriots, who had Cody sneak in toward the goal and tip it past for the 1-0 lead, assisted by Schmid.

"The first five, 10 minutes, I thought we would score and we didn't," Molloy said. "We started to go more direct, we try to move it outside and go from there, but we didn't do that in the last part of the first half. We had the better of the play in the second half, but we just couldn't finish. we have to be a little cleaner with the finishing, it just wasn't there tonight."

After Cody's goal, BBA changed its formation, moving three players up to get the equalizer — something that proved successful three minutes later when the Bulldogs played a long ball and MAU couldn't get it out. Ben Stewart got onto the ball and hit it past Woodside for the tying goal.

"He's going to finish it more times then not," Molloy said.

MAU had a chance to take a lead in the first half. Potter was fouled in the box, setting up a penalty kick.

Cody took the shot and Aberth guessed correctly, punching the ball away. On the subsquent scramble, Aberth made yet another stop to keep the game knotted at zero.

In the 50th minute, Woodside had to come off after receiving a questionable yellow card on a slide tackle. That forced Hogan Elming to come in cold off the bench and on the ensuing free kick, the Bulldogs got a head to the ball but it was too hard and went over the frame. Elming had to come in again with five minutes left in regulation after Woodside and Stewart collided on a loose ball.

"It's good to have someone we can throw in, Dylan needed to shake some stuff off," Molloy said.

MAU is now 5-2-1 on the year, while BBA is 4-2-2.


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