Bulldogs upend MAU at Spinelli

BENNINGTON — Mount Anthony girls soccer coach Mark Boudreau had a simple statement about his team's hard-fought 2-0 loss to Burr and Burton on Tuesday night.

"There was never a single point in that game until the buzzer went off that I didn't think we had a chance to win that game," Boudreau said. "We played that team as well as we're going to play a game. We played them evenly, we gave ourselves a chance to win the game. They [scored] two, we [scored] none, they win. You can't walk away from that game and say you didn't give yourself a chance to win. I wouldn't change anything except the score."

Hannah Pinkus scored the opening goal with 12:50 left in regulation, while Grace Pinkus added the insurance tally with 35 seconds to go.

Mount Anthony controlled much of the play in the first half, coming up with a few more scoring opportunities, but were unable to find the back of the net against Burr and Burton goalkeeper Sam Citron, who had eight saves on the night. In the 17th minute, Kaidin Gauthier beat Citron to a through ball, but Gauthier's shot was just wide.

A few minutes later, BBA had a good chance off a corner kick — one of five they had in the game — but a header was wide of the frame and harmlessly sent away.

With 12 minutes left in the first half, Gauthier had her best chance. Citron came off the line again to play a through ball. She and Gauthier collided and the ball came loose. Gauthier went to collect it and Citron got up and made a save backing up toward the goal on a hard shot by the MAU senior.

"It was definitely back and forth, they had just as many opportunities as we did," said Pinkus. "Sam did a great job to keep us in the game, made a bunch of big saves. We had a tough time putting [shots] away in the first half."

BBA was forced to grind it out thanks to intentional defensive positioning from Boudreau and the Patriots.

"We played a different formation, a 4-2-3-1, it sets up to play a little defensive and it adds layers to your defense," Boudreau said. "Our goal is to slow the ball. When you play good teams, you'll get beat sometimes, and the girls at the next layer know they have to get in there. We have a lot of speed on the outside so we can collapse in and get shape again. We have a defensive unit, not just defensive players."

In the second half, the Bulldogs started to make some headway. With about 20 minutes left, MAU goalie Maddy Breese was forced to make a tough save when the defense failed to clear the offensive attack. Breese had eight saves for the Patriots.

"Maddy had been fantastic this year, she was the best player on the field at the[Lady Patriot Classic]. She's a game player, hard on herself, she expects perfection and you can't do that. But often, she delivers on it," Boudreau said.

The Bulldogs finally broke through in the 67th minute, when Maggie Sullivan found Pinkus on the edge of the six-yard box.

"We had to keep grinding it out," Pinkus said. "We started to figure it out and we calmed down after I scored."

In the final 10 minutes, the Patriots searched high and low for the equalizer, but on a counterattack in the final minute, Grace Pinkus tapped in for her 10th goal of the year to seal it.

"We gave them every bit of a game as they could handle," Boudreau said. "We'll take that type of game against anyone this year and we'll get on the better side in most of them."

MAU drops to 5-3 on the year, while BBA improves to 5-4.

"We have to come out with wins in those [last five] games, especially with losses agains the northern teams," Pinkus said. "We have the MVL games coming up and it's important to win those, but it's not going to be a walk in the park."


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