BRISTOL - Playing its first match in more than a week did not impede the Bristol Central boys soccer team from bringing an offensive onslaught against New Britain on Tuesday afternoon.
Four different Rams players found the back of the net in their opening contest of the week against a team they already beat three weeks ago.
“I thought that we had a lot of the possession of the ball, we moved the ball around really well,” Central head coach Nate Jandreau said after the 4-0 win. “Guys communicated with each other, we played the ball to the people we wanted to. We moved well off the ball to give ourselves a lot of opportunities, guys got forward and we converted a few of them.”
The loss was the Hurricanes eighth of the season and eighth in a row after starting the year with two ties. They have at least one more chance to secure a win before season’s end with a second opportunity dependent on finalizing the rescheduling of last week’s match against Lewis Mills.
“The goals don’t really matter, we just have to get better as a team,” New Britain coach Garth Lawrence said. “Goals, at the end of the day, it happens. There's a lot of things I can say, but to protect my team, I won’t say it.”
Central was in control of the ball for the majority of the match as New Britain’s offensive players struggled to maintain possession. The Rams fired 33 shots at Hurricanes goalkeeper Max Szczepnik while his teammates could only get off five shots on goal.
“[We need to improve on] controlling the ball, taking your time on the ball, finding a teammate,” Lawrence said. “Not just playing it upfield and giving it back to the opponent.”
Freshman Frank Palma and junior Charlie Pittman opened the scoring in the middle of the first half with goals that eluded the Hurricanes’ defenders and beat the heavily-tested Szczepnik. Tyler D’Agostino earned the assist on Pittman’s goal, which featured swift and accurate passing from the Rams throughout their offensive zone.
“I saw the weakness on the sideline so I was just told to take advantage of it,” Pittman said. “I just kept running down the sideline and taking advantage of the space and when I have a free shot I’m going to take it.”
Central added to its lead in the second half with two more goals, starting with a score from Ethan Crumrine. The porous play of New Britain’s defense forced Szczepnik to make many athletic saves during the match that prevented the score from being more lopsided than it was. He was visibly mad at the line in front of him after the third goal was scored.
“Common mistakes that could be easily avoided,” Szczepnik said. “There’s three of my defenders on one guy and yet he rips a shot off bottom corner, I don’t know how that’s possible.”
Jandreau said the Rams benefitted from receiving so many scoring opportunities because his players were not as effective at finishing as he wanted them to be.
“Their keeper made a bunch of really good saves and we need to be able to finish those because in other games we’re going to get a couple of those chances as opposed to [the] 10 or 15 we had there,” Jandreau said. “You need to be able to convert them.”
The Rams are using this week to play all of the remaining matches they needed to reschedule starting with a match against Plainville on Wednesday while the Hurricanes finish their season Friday on the road against Bristol Eastern.
“It’s good to start the week off with a win and you want to just carry that over to tomorrow,” Jandreau said. “[Wednesday] is a really tough game against Plainville, but the guys are up for it, they’re ready and we’re just looking to put forth a good effort every game that we play. If we can do that, we’ll let the chips fall where they may.”
Matt Hornick can be reached at (860) 973-1811 or email@example.com
BRISTOL CENTRAL 4, NEW BRITAIN 0
At Bristol Central
Goals: Frank Palma (BC), Charlie Pittman (BC), Ethan Crumrine (BC), Carson Rivoira (BC).
Assists: Mark Palma (BC) 2, Tyler D’Agostino (BC), Charlie Pittman (BC).
Saves: Harrison Ross (BC) 5, Max Szczepnik (NB) 20.
Records: Bristol Central 3-4-1, New Britain 0-8-2.