BRUSHTON – The Brushton-Moira boys soccer team entered its Northern Athletic Conference East Division matchup against St. Regis Falls with a familiar feeling Thursday.
Both squads were looking for their first win of the 2020 campaign, and the Panthers were previously hopeful to beat the then-winless Chateaugay boys soccer team on Oct. 23.
Brushton-Moira coach Adam Britton talked with his team about being equals then, and the narrative was the same this time around as well.
“We’re always trying to win, you know? We haven’t played this team yet, so we just don’t know, or you have to prove yourself or you have to see where you stand in this league,” Britton said. “I think that we’re always late bloomers and this was one of those games – hey, you got something to prove every game – but this game for sure.”
And they certainly proved themselves with a 6-0 victory at home, after five different players found the net.
Justin Kennedy kicked things off with back to back goals within five minutes. During the second minute of the game, he caught a great look from Edmund Collins. Wayne Palmer then gave Kennedy a short pass inside the box, who subsequently poked it past Derek Prevost (nine saves) for a quick 2-0 lead.
Kasey Martin fed a pass to Lucas Bowen over the middle for a go-ahead score in the 15th minute. Five minutes later, Martin hit the Saints’ back line with a crossover and drilled a shot into the right side of the net.
“They’re an unselfish team, and they really want to see each other succeed,” Britton said. “They wanted to work the ball around and work on their offensive attack, and they were able to generate some goals because of it.”
George Webb, who had goaltending duties taken by Jacob Gagnon (two saves), was on the offensive, and netted an unassisted goal in the 23rd minute.
Collins came full-circle after assisting the first goal of the game, to netting the last one of the day himself off a pass from Webb, who clicked well with the offensive unit.
The Panthers found numerous scoring opportunities in the first half for a reason.
“I think our guys were a little more committed to the possession game, and that’s what we wanted to focus on,” Britton said.
Offense wasn’t the only phase of the game that worked in Brushton-Moira’s favor. The Panthers’ back line closed the gap and chased down St. Regis Falls forwards whenever they did find themselves driving downfield.
This accounted for the increased time of possession for Brushton-Moira.
“They’re starting to get a little more coordinated. They’re learning how to be more organized in how they defend, and that starts with communication and recognizing what they’re faced with offensively,” Britton said. “They’ve come a long way – and they still have some things to work on – but they’re getting there.”
Britton stressed to his team afterward that despite having control throughout the contest, he still hoped his players took something from the match.
“I think it’s an opportunity for us to get better, to work on some things and I don’t know, on a cold day like this, you just don’t want anyone to get hurt,” He said. “You want everyone to be safe, you want everyone to get some time in there and get some action on the field.”
The Brushton-Moira girls soccer team also enjoyed a shutout over St. Regis Falls, 4-0.
Chateaugay boys soccer picked up its third consecutive win by handing Norwood-Norfolk its first loss of the season. After finding themselves down by one score, the Bulldogs netted three unanswered goals to win 3-1.
“We played a great game. Our short passing, midfield play and defensive marking were spot on,” Chateaugay coach Ted Martin said. “We deserved the win. We created many good chances offensively. Steven Dwyer came out of his shell tonight to help in a great team effort.”