BRISTOL - The Bristol Central girls soccer team started its season on a positive note, defeating Middletown 2-0 on Thursday night at home.
The Rams followed a scoreless first half with two goals in the second half. They started creating decent scoring chances by the end of the first 40 minutes, but became fully adjust to their first live contest of the season after halftime.
“I think in the first half we were having a little bit of trouble because we couldn’t quite get the speed that we wanted on the ball,” head coach Ginny Godbout said. “We were making some pretty good passes, but our girls were chasing them down for like a mile. I think in the second half we adjusted to that and started to find feet and started to actually get our heads up and see the space.”
Junior Rachel Wygant, playing forward for the first time, netted both goals for the Rams midway through the second half off assists from senior midfielder Ashlee Crumrine. The first score came from a slick exchange between the two when Wygant flipped the ball over her head to Crumrine along the left sideline and Crumrine then found Wygant in the box and she put a shot into the bottom-right corner of the goal.
“The two of them, the way they all work together like that, it was a beautiful ball,” Godbout said. “Once they actually see each other and they make that connection, there’s really no stopping them. It’s amazing to watch.”
Crumrine found Wygant with space on a run in the middle of the for the second goal. Wygant charged upfield and sent another between the pipes to stretch the Rams’ lead. Wygant nearly completed the hat trick on a couple occasions before the final whistle, but failed to convert on the shots.
Middletown started the second half attacking the Central defense, but failed to score despite some close chances. The Rams took over possession after a few minutes and started creating the scoring opportunities it had.
“I thought we came out a little flat at first because there was a quick attack that they had,” Godbout said. “Right around 30 or 25 minutes left in the second half we were just firing on all cylinders. I thought we just did so much better. I think a little of it was the nerves, first game [back], especially after last year, so it’s nice. I think once they calmed down a little bit we got ourselves into it.”
Senior Gabby DeFilippis opens her season with a clean sheet after making some key saves in the second half. She was not challenged much in the first half, as neither team was able to maintain possession and create scoring chances, but delivered when called upon later in the contest.
“Gabby had fought for the position last year and I thought she’s really improved a lot this year,” Godbout said. “Her punts are a lot better, she’s a lot more controlled in that way. She really saved up on a couple of balls down there. Just a great job overall.”
Central returns to action Monday on the road against Plainville and will look to use this opening victory as a springboard for the remainder of the season.
“I think that we worked really well together,” junior Emily Lowe said. “We could communicate better, but overall it was a good way to start the season.”
Matt Hornick can be reached at (860) 973-1811 or email@example.com.