Burr and Burton remains unbeaten, tops Rebels
MANCHESTER — The Burr and Burton girls soccer team needed a jolt of energy heading into the second half of its game against Leland and Gray Wednesday afternoon.
After giving up the momentum on a tying goal late in the first half, BBA had to find a way to swing the pendulum back in its favor.
Three goals in the first eight minutes of the second half did the trick, as the Bulldogs went on to win 6-2 against the Rebels at Taylor Field.
Coming out of the break with a purpose was key for BBA, according to Bulldogs coach Suzanne Mears.
"We had more of a sense of urgency and brought out intensity a bit more," Mears said. "We were lacking that in the first half. We weren't winning 50-50's. We weren't going for the ball. We talked about that and they came out in the second half and played much better 40 minutes."
To break the halftime tie, BBA leading scorer Grace Pinkus tallied a goal with 36:44 to play. The Bulldogs barely wasted any time adding on as sophomore forward Julia Brand scored on a second-chance opportunity just 40 seconds later.
A turnover in the Leland and Gray half a few minutes later sprung Pinkus for another goal to put BBA up by three.
Rebels midfielder Abby Towle scored a few minutes after the second Pinkus tally, but that was all Leland and Gray mustered the rest of the way.
A perfect through ball to Pinkus with 25:45 left netted her a hat trick — her 12th goal of the season after five games — and Daisy O'Keefe scored the final goal with 16 minutes left.
O'Keefe scored the lone first half goal for the Bulldogs, before the Rebels freshman Ainsley Meyer equalized the score later in the half.
A strong Division III program, Leland and Gray tested BBA, much like rival Mount Anthony did last weekend, throughout Wednesday's contest.
The Rebels kept possession fairly even and used their speed to challenge the Bulldogs' back line.
BBA keeper Carol Herbert had to make seven saves on the day.
"[Leland and Gray] was quick, they pressured us and they never let down," Mears said. "I was impressed with their team. Our back line stayed composed, but they had to work."
With BBA's six-goal output Wednesday, the Bulldogs have 20 goals, an average of four goals per game.
Especially Wednesday, BBA found many different ways to put the ball in the back of the net.
Whether it was the perfect through ball on Pinkus' goal, taking advantage of a lapse in defensive possession or a quality cross that led to an O'Keefe goal, the Bulldogs have been relentless in finding their offense.
"For it to come from a few different people and create different opportunities is great," Mears said. "It's great for our depth and helps us push forward and be successful."
The Bulldogs move to 5-0 on the season with the win.
BBA is set for one of its tougher challenges of the season on Saturday when it takes on fellow undefeated Essex at home. The game is set for a 4 p.m. start at Taylor Field.
Adam Aucoin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed at @AAucoin_Banner on Twitter.
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