SPECIAL TO THE PRESS
NEW BRITAIN - The Bristol Warriors had little trouble finding the back of the net against Stratford Thursday afternoon.
The Warriors quickly demonstrated their offensive prowess in an easy 8-0 victory in their first game of the Nutmeg Games 18U Girls Soccer Tournament at Chesley Park. They would later collect a 2-0 win against East Hampton.
“It feels great,” Bristol head coach Jeffrey Davis said on the team getting off to a good start. “We’re the defending champions four years running in our different age groups. This is the first time playing in the U18 teenage group and so we hope to win this group tournament as well.”
Bristol showed up offensively in the first half of the game, scoring their first goal with just under five-minutes of play on a goal by Kyla Gallagher assisted by Julia Dess. It was Gallagher’s first of three goals in the game.
Around 30 seconds later, Myah Croze netted Bristol’s second goal.
The Warriors scored two more goals, one from Briana Senese and another from Gallagher, to head into the half with a commanding 4-0 lead.
“Especially in the heat that was out here today we wanted to get off to a quick start,” Davis said. “We could possess the ball, not run over the field and cause [Stratford] to run all over the field.”
Stratford, meanwhile, struggled on the offensive end in the first half, getting their first shot attempt of over 25 minutes into the game. Passing was a common struggle among the Stratford players as they could not get a rhythm going to generate a run.
“We just kept the ball away from our goalie,” Davis said about the team’s defense of keeping constant pressure. “We didn’t use much of our goalie. It was just much more of passing back and keeping possession, especially in the second half we tried not to run up the score too much.”
Both Bristol goalies, Hanna Richards and Nina Zwolinski, combined to make only one save in the game. Meanwhile, Stratford made six saves as most of the action was taking place on Stratford’s side of the pitch.
The second half was no different for both teams as the Warriors continued their possession dominance and Stratford struggled to put together a run.
Just three minutes into the half, Adalia Malick added to Bristol’s lead with a goal assisted from Senese. Two minutes later, the Warriors had a 6-0 lead on a goal by Croze, her second of the game.
One goal later, Emily Passamano concluded the scoring for the Warriors with an assist from Hannah Stanford, an 8-0 lead that the Warriors would not relinquish.
“The team expects to play well and expects to win every game and we just have to make it happen on the field,” Davis said. “They have been playing together on and off for years with one another. There are three different high schools in Bristol, so we just try to pick players from all the different high schools to play and they are a great group of girls.”
Kimberly Pena can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @Kimberly_P12