BRISTOL - The Bristol Eastern boys soccer team came into the city series game against rival Bristol Central knowing its opponent was off to a better start.
Against the rival Rams, the Lancers used their toughness to escape with a 2-1 victory in overtime on Monday night.
It didn’t come easy, though.
“This was exciting,” Bristol Eastern head coach Bill Sweet said. “It was a physical contest. I thought we stood up to them and their speed just scared us to death.”
The Rams’ speed was on display throughout the contest, but toward the end of the game, the physical Lancers tired them out.
“We love it,” Bristol Eastern midfielder Nick LaChance said. “We like playing hard. We like it when we have a big challenge, especially against a rival team. It was a great game. We had fun. We came out, worked hard and it was a good ending.”
Bristol Central was forced to the outside throughout most of the night in an impressive performance from the Lancers’ defense.
“Our backs have been beaten early in the year and they had probably seen us, and [assistant] coach [Bunty] Ray said our backs grew up tonight and I was really pleased,” Sweet said.
Coming into overtime with the score tied 1-1, Bristol Eastern had the Rams where it wanted them. The Lancers knew that getting a goal in overtime quick would be a huge momentum builder.
With some previous opportunities in the game for a header, Jake Woznicki picked the perfect time to put his team up 2-1.
Just minutes into the first overtime period, Woznicki got a great corner from Lyle Winiarski and didn’t miss the header, putting it to the back of the net.
“It helped so much to have it early,” Woznicki said. “We felt so secure and good and our defense played amazing.”
For the Lancers, beating the Rams may end up being the confidence boost needed going forward with the season.
“Knowing we can win this game, they’re such a good team and I feel like we’re not going to face teams much better, so I feel if we can beat them we can go all the way.”
Dan Orencole can be reached at or On Twitter: @OrencoleDan