MAU boys soccer earns shutout on Senior Night
With about 10 minutes left in the first half, senior midfielder Franklin Cody crossed a ball in to the box, where the ball deflected off of a Hurricanes player and bounced into the net for an own goal.
That would be all MAU would need in Friday's contest as its tough team defense did the rest.
The game was tight throughout and that showed in the intensity of both sides.
"This is a very good Hartford squad. They're probably in the top four for Division II seeds," Patriots coach Mike Molloy said. "It was pretty back and forth. I think we had the better of the play and the ball was probably a little more on our side, but it was a good high school soccer game."
MAU decided to go with a different approach defensively, only playing three defenders on the back line in Friday's game and instead putting an extra guy in the midfield to try to control that part of the field.
The move proved to work dividends for the Patriots as they showed an inspired effort on the defensive side of the ball.
"We've been in a little bit of a slump. We've been conceding a lot of goals," said Molloy, alluding to the fact his team had given up four goals in each of the last two games. "For us to get a clean sheet, it's our first clean sheet in probably five or six games. It takes a full team effort to get that, so everybody kind of worked hard. It was a team shutout."
Senior goalkeeper Dylan Woodside was the man in goal for the shutout and he had similar things to say about the team's play on the defensive side.
"That's probably one of the biggest things we could have had especially going into the playoffs," said Woodside about the shutout. "We just get a bunch of momentum going. Just getting a clean sheet is probably the best thing that could have gone for us tonight."
Friday was Senior Night for MAU. The three seniors on the team — Cody, Woodside and Matthew Glanovsky — were honored at halftime with flowers and a moment with their parents.
Molloy knows how valuable this small group is, considering how young the Patriots roster is currently.
"It's a really young squad and we had a lot of sophomores and juniors playing tonight," Molloy said. "The hope for them is they watch the seniors and play hard for them. All the seniors have been with the program for multiple years. For us going forward, this was like win a last one at home for the seniors and maybe we can get a home playoff game."
"We try to keep everyone's energy up and just keep them going. If someone messes up, we just try to keep them going. If they make a mistake, just help them through it," Woodside added about how the seniors help the underclassmen.
In the end, Molloy was just happy to come away with win.
"I'll take a 1-0 win on an own goal any day," Molloy said.
Adam Aucoin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter @AAucoin_Banner
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