BRISTOL - With a corner kick and 2:49 left in the first overtime, Lyle Winiarski delivered a strike placed perfectly for Jake Woznicki to give Bristol Eastern a 2-1 advantage in the first overtime period.
That 2-1 advantage stood as no goals were scored in the second overtime and the Lancers beat Bristol Central in the city series game on Monday night.
“I can head the ball pretty well and most people don’t expect it and it just worked perfectly,” Woznicki said.
Coming into the first half, the first five minutes of the game set the tempo with both teams running all over.
Eventually both teams settled down and started playing their games.
In an evenly matched first half, the game was scoreless until Bristol Eastern’s Nick LaChance gave the Lancers a 1-0 advantage at 34:19.
“It was really big,” LaChance said. “To big a goal in the back of the net really boosted our confidence even more.”
It didn’t take long for the Rams to answer as Josh Cordero continued his strong season for Bristol Central and scored at 33:58.
“They’re a dangerous team,” Bristol Eastern head coach Bill Sweet said. “So we were worried about their shots. We got on their feet as much as we could. It was a typical Eastern Central game you never know throw the records out.”
Going into the half at 1-1, the second half brought more excitement.
In the second half, the chances were there for each team but the physicality and efforts out of the goalkeepers were pivotal.
Bristol Central missed a cross opportunity in front of Bristol Eastern goalkeeper Tom Tefo with 28 minutes remaining in the half.
Alex Bernier made a terrific save just minutes later in front of his net.
Dillon Willis had an opportunity to give his team the 2-1 edge but it was Tefoe making the save.
With just under eight minutes left in the game Bristol Eastern had a goal waved off by an offside penalty, giving the ball back to Bristol Central.
Marcello DelValle got loose with just over five minutes to play but was called for a foul, giving the Lancers possession again.
Winiarski had a free kick opportunity that Bernier saved with four minutes remaining in regulation.
The game was forced into overtime and the early strike by Woznicki to give the Lancers the 2-1 advantage shifted the momentum all the way in Bristol Eastern’s favor and it didn’t let go.
With the back and forth physicality, it was Eastern’s toughness that outlasted the quick Bristol Central team.
“Our boys definitely knew what was coming,” Bristol Central assistant coach Bill Nass said. “I feel like they outworked us for a good bit of that first half but we definitely showed a lot of resolve in the second half and overtime. Sometimes you get the breaks and sometimes you don’t.”
Bristol Eastern advances to 3-4 on the season and will host Avon Wednesday. Bristol Central will travel to face Newington Wednesday with a 4-2-1 record on the season.
Dan Orencole can be reached at 860-973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @OrencoleDan