First half strikes lead Colonels past MAU
BENNINGTON — The Mount Anthony boys soccer team played rival Brattleboro fairly even Friday night at Spinelli Field.
Except one 15-minute stretch in the first half.
The Colonels scored five of their goals during the middle portion of the first half en route to 6-0 win.
After a well-played first 15 minutes, Brattleboro broke through to get on the board.
Alex Lier netted a goal from the left side of the net to grab the advantage.
Less than two minutes later, Avery Bauer beat MAU keeper Ethan LaBatt from the the other side of the goal, and soon after that, Magnus von Krusenstiern tallied a goal of his own.
Within a three-minute stretch, the Colonels were up 3-0, and they added two more goals, one by Lier and one by the speedy Sam Hall on a perfect through ball to go up 5-0 with 12 minutes left in the first half.
Patriots coach Mike Molloy felt like issues in the midfield led to that string of tallies.
"Brattleboro has some good older players and they've got some speed," Molloy said. "The goals all game from us not closing the midfield and the long ball. They just beat us with pace. We have to control that midfield."
Down by five at halftime, MAU made some adjustments and they seemed to pay off.
Possession evened out much more in the second half and the Patriots put some pressure on the Colonels' back line.
One of the big adjustments was moving LaBatt out of goal and putting the junior into the center midfield role.
It seemed to pay off well, with Brattleboro less apt to take advantage of its speed to create strong runs.
"[Ethan] is a good athlete and he's played that role before," Molloy said.
With LaBatt out of goal, freshman Aiden Moscarello got the nod to man the net in the second half. The young keeper played well, making four saves and only conceding a late tally to Brattleboro's Damian Dierkes.
"Aiden did a bang up job as a freshman in net," Molloy said. "I told him that it's going to be easy. You're already down 5-0, so just enjoy yourself out there."
Brattleboro's lone losses on the year are to Burr and Burton and Saint Johnsbury, so the Patriots knew they had a tough test in store to come out with a win.
"They're a good enough team, where they'll make you pay if you make a mistake," Molloy said.
The Patriots pushed hard for a goal with the game out of reach late, but Colonels freshman keeper Paul McGillion was up to the task to save the clean sheet. McGillion made nine saves on the day.
"We wanted to get one back in the end, but unfortunately, we couldn't," Molloy said. "We have them again in a week, so we'll try to reboot and reset."
MAU drops to 2-7-1 and plays Burr and Burton on the road on Tuesday.
Adam Aucoin can be reached at email@example.com and followed at @AAucoin_Banner on Twitter.
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