MERIDEN - Rain steadily picked up throughout the Newington boys soccer teamâ€™s game against Platt on Monday afternoon, and from the opening five minutes of play through the end of the first half, Newington rained goals down upon the Panthers.
Newington started fast and never relented, getting six goals in the first half alone from four-different scorers to cruise to a 7-1 victory, the teamâ€™s third in a row.
â€śWe talked about completing a game from start to finish, and we got off to a real good start today with some good combination play and people making the right decisions and the right passes,â€ť Newington head coach Jeff Brunetti said. â€śIt was a great start.â€ť
Newingtonâ€™s scoring attack was both relentless and widespread, getting goals from six different players to match the programâ€™s highest-scoring performance and largest margin of victory since a 7-1 win over Hartford Public on Sept. 25, 2017.
â€śWe have a bunch of different goal scorers on the team and kids who can contribute,â€ť said senior captain Reed Campbell, who chipped in with a goal in the lopsided win. â€śIt makes us a threat from many different angles.â€ť
Newington (4-1) went right to work at the start of the game and had two chances on corner kicks in the opening two minutes, and had another pair of quality chances two minutes later when an open shot from Jack Stair rolled just wide of the far post. Another open chance from Campbell sailed wide, but the team missed very little after that.
Just 30 seconds after Campbellâ€™s shot missed, the senior found Christian Amaral in front of the net, and the former all-conference selection tucked a shot inside the far post to get Newington on the board. Just over two minutes later, Campbell found himself with a chance again off a turnover, burying a turnaround shot off a pass from Amaral to make it 2-0.
The goals kept coming, the next just two minutes later when Stair put home an untouched shot from straight on to extend the lead to 3-0, as both players who missed out on goals earlier in the game finished the job shortly after.
â€śSometimes they just need a little wake-up call,â€ť Brunetti said. â€śThey did a great job in terms of adjusting. Hitting the target is the big thing.â€ť
Newington continued to dominate and didnâ€™t relent a shot on goal until Platt (1-4) finally generated a chance with 15:30 left in the first half, when a free kick from 40 yards out by Michael Urban was snagged by Newington goalkeeper Xander Ford, who saw little action otherwise in the first half.
At the other end of the field, meanwhile, Newington stayed on the attack, getting two consecutive goals from Diogo Caetano, the latter an elevated shot from up close that tucked in just underneath the crossbar off a pass from Trey Guest, to make it 5-0. Guest then entered the scoring column himself with just over a minute left in the half, and Newington entered the break with the majority of its starters already on the sidelines, getting a rest for the remainder of the match.
With the bench emptied for Newington, the team continued to apply pressure at the start of the second half. Just 90 seconds after play resumed, sophomore Bryce Cordeiro sent a centering pass towards senior Daniel Ellis, who evaded Platt goalkeeper Nick Linkâ€™s attempt to smother the loose ball and banged home the teamâ€™s seventh goal into a wide open net. The only challenge left for Newington was to try and secure the teamâ€™s third straight shutout, but with 7:30 left on the clock, the Panthers got on the board when a centering pass was met by Plattâ€™s Justin Bennett and Newingtonâ€™s Manassah Dalomba. The two collided in the air, and Dalombaâ€™s attempt to head the ball out of harmâ€™s way instead resulted in a header right into his own goal, getting the Panthers on the board.
Otherwise, it was one of the most dominant Newington wins in recent memory in what was the first matchup between these two teams since September of 2016.
â€śWe really wanted to focus on keeping our focus and not just thinking we were going to win,â€ť Campbell said. â€śWe wanted to go out there and take care of business. We wanted to stay strong in the back and not concede. Unfortunately we did, but we were able to put the game away early and get in some of our guys off the bench who have always been really supportive.â€ť
Ryan Chichester can be reached at (860) 801-5094 or firstname.lastname@example.org
NEWINGTON 7, PLATT 1
At Platt, Meriden
Halftime: Newington 6-0.
Goals: Christian Amaral (N), Reed Campbell (N), Jack Stair (N), Diogo Caetano (N) 2, Trey Guest (N), Daniel Ellis (N).
Assists: Campbell 2, Amaral 2, Guest, Bryce Cordeiro (N), Stone Bouchard (N).
Shots: Newington 20, Platt 7.
Saves: Xander Ford (N) 5.
Records: Newington 4-1, Platt 1-4.