TERRYVILLE - Early in the season, the Terryville boys soccer defense is struggling against opposing offenses.
It was no different Thursday afternoon against Lewis Mills.
The Kangroos were unable to stop Jake Cosentino and the Spartans, losing 6-0.
Cosentino finished with a hat trick.
“We’re having a hard time defending our box and we were picked apart at midfield,” Terryville head coach George Smith said. “However we did play Nonnewaug and Mills back-to-back so we’ll see how tomorrow pans out when we play Gilbert.”
With a younger team, playing two powerhouses early in the season can be beneficial for the duration of the year.
“I definitely think that is a more winnable game for us,” Smith said of Gilbert. “There are a few teams in this league that I know are going to give us fits. I know Northwestern is very good this year as well but some of the other teams we’re more evenly matched with so those games will be more indicative of our overall team.”
While the first two opponents were tough, establishing consistency and staying positive throughout games is something Terryville is still working on.
“We couldn’t keep up with them,” Terryville senior Adam Pelz said. “They outran us and at the end of the day [Lewis Mills] just wanted it more.”
The Kangaroos struggled getting any kind of offensive rhythm against Lewis Mills. For most of the game, the Spartans controlled possession of the ball.
“They just held the ball more,” Terryville senior Ethan Rheault said. “Every time we passed it, they stole it and they held possession for longer.”
When the Kangaroos did have possession, it didn’t last for long as waiting for something to develop on offense wasn’t shown by rushing passes often resulting in turnovers.
“We played Nonnewaug first and their defense is kind of pushed back,” Rheault said. “With Lewis Mills they were pushed up so every time we passed the midfield they stole the ball.”
While six goals can be put on the goalie, defensive breakdowns were big in this game with many open shot opportunities for Lewis Mills resulted in goals.
“The goals that we’ve been giving up haven’t been good,” Smith said. “There was a couple goals that were but other than that, it was more of the defense not clearing the ball and we can’t expect our goalie to defend from 3-4 yards.”
While allowing nine combined goals in the first two games, a 3-0 loss followed by the 6-0 defeat, the confidence in its defensive ability is still intact for Terryville.
“Our defense is probably our best skill,” Rheault said. “We can usually get the ball back and push it forward but our strikers just need to maintain the ball.”
Terryville plays again tonight on the road against Gilbert.
Dan Orencole can be reached at 860-973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @OrencoleDan