Patriots blank Wahconah, will meet BBA in final
BENNINGTON — Mount Anthony's Allie Bullett scored on a slick free kick in the 34th minute and the Patriot defense made it stand up in a 1-0 victory over Wahconah in the opening round of the 19th annual Lady Patriot Classic on Thursday night.
"The win is important and sometimes you have to win ugly and I think we did that tonight," said MAU coach Mark Boudreau. "We had a much better half of soccer in the first half, but we survived on our speed today."
Both teams had semi-legit chances to score in the opening half-hour, but both MAU goalie Lexi Gerow and Wahconah goalie Michaelia Moncecchi were up to the task of keeping the game scoreless.
In the 34th minute, a Mount Anthony player was fouled a couple yards outside the 18-yard box, setting up an indirect free kick.
The Patriots used a little razzle-dazzle, setting up both Bullett and Jordan Mattison as possible kickers. Mattison ran up first, stepped on the ball to tap it back to Bullett, who fired a lefty shot past Moncecchi to take the lead.
In the second half, at least to start, the field was definitely tilted toward the Warriors. About five minutes in, there was a sequence when Gerow and the MAU defense made three stops of Wahconah shots at close range, eventually clearing the ball out.
A couple minutes later, Gerow made another point blank save, one of 10 on the night for the sophomore.
"She's making big plays and has great reflexes," Boudreau said. "Her positioning is great and she's fearless making the saves. We're getting everything we've hoped for so far from her."
In the 54th minute, another Wahconah shot got over Gerow's head, hit the crossbar, popped up and into her arms.
"We're working on that last third of the field, getting opportunities to shoot," said Wahconah coach Meghan Smith. "The second half was our game and we want to keep working like we did [in the beginning of the second half]."
Boudreau felt his team was a little panicked.
"Wahconah came out aggressive in the second half and I think we were under the gun a little bit," Boudreau said.
Thursday's game was the opener for the Warriors, who played in a pair of scrimmages earlier this month.
"We're in the mindset of always being ready to play, but we definitely improved from the Jamborees," Smith said.
MAU now faces Burr and Burton, 6-1 winners over Brattleboro in the opening game of the tournament.
"We're starting the season against really good teams and we have to find a way to win," Boudreau said. "I expect an even game and nothing less."
BBA 6, Brattleboro 1
Burr and Burton's Grace Pinkus scored three times as BBA topped Brattleboro, 6-1, in the first game of the Lady Patriot Classic on Thursday night.
Daisy O'Keefe, Piper Russell and Annette Zilkha added the other goals for BBA, who improve to 3-0 on the season and will face MAU in the championship on Saturday night at Spinelli Field.
Pinkus started the scoring in the second minute before Brattleboro's Sylvie Normandeau scored in the ninth minute on a 40-yard free kick to tie it.
From there, it was all BBA, with O'Keefe, Russell, Pinkus and Zilhka all scoring in the next 25 minutes. Pinkus finished off the scoring four minutes into the second half.
Carol Herbert earned the win in goal for BBA, making six stops.
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