Monday, September 15, 2008

A Tough Weekend for Wolverine Soccer

Bridgton Academy soccer headed south this past weekend for a pair of games in Connecticut, Salisbury School on Saturday and Choate Rosemary Hall in on Sunday.
The Wolverines ended up dropping both games, setting the season record at 0-3, but did so in very different ways.
“We played our best soccer of the year on Saturday against Salisbury School,” said Wolverine head soccer coach Kevin Mellon. “We played Bridgton Academy soccer, which is great soccer, playing together as a family, having full understanding of what everyone is doing and what they need to do. When we play Bridgton Academy soccer we have a very good chance at winning, when we play our opponents brand of soccer we will likely not end up victorious,” Mellon continued.
The match Saturday saw the Wolverines head into half time with 1-0 lead, after Zach Johnson (Westbrook, ME) took advantage of a one-on-one situation. The first half saw Bridgton play with Joe Medeiros (Hudson, NH) on the bench for disciplinary issue, but the team stepped up and played well while one of their top players sat. After the half Salisbury came back and tied the game and that is where the score stood until late in the match when a hand ball was called against Bridgton in the box and gave Salisbury a penalty shot opportunity that they converted. The penalty shot did not sit well with Coach Mellon, “it was a tough call, and not consistent with the way the game had been called, but that was what the refs called and we have to move on.”
“The second half we started to show signs of fatigue, we are running a short roster this year and these guys are basically playing a full 90 minutes each. Despite the score on Saturday I am very proud of our club, they played a great game and if we can play like that again we will notch our first win soon,” said Mellon.
Sunday was a different story, dropping that contest 7-1 against Choate Rosemary Hall. “It was like the guys had bought tickets to the game, rather than bring their uniforms to play,” said Coach Mellon. “We came out flat, didn’t play our brand of soccer, in fact it was the worst soccer I’ve seen us play. We were down 4-1 at the half and all four of those came on breakaways,” Mellon said.
To make matters worse, Bridgton’s sole goal keeper, Nick Gardner (Manchester, NH), went down early in the second half with a knee injury. Fortunately Kevin Van Lenten (Topsfield, MA) stepped up to play keeper, “Kevin has never played keep in a game, but he volunteered and came in and did a great job for us,” said Mellon. “It was unfortunate that it took an injury to get the team to step up, but they did and for the remainder of the match we did a good job and held them for the most part, but again fatigue reared its ugly head,” continued Mellon.
“It was a tough weekend, but we will come out of this stronger and ready to take on Milton Academy, and then get ready for our first home game against Bowdoin JV on September 19th. The upside of the weekend was the guys saw themselves play very good soccer and they saw themselves play not so great soccer, so they know the difference and they know they can do it, now we just need to put together 90 minutes of Bridgton Academy soccer, and we will,” Mellon said.

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