Balance sees Bulldogs past MAU

MANCHESTER -- In a second half dominated by Burr and Burton Academy's ability to maximize the space and time available, for Morgan Bazyk's fourth goal, the junior midfielder was a maestro in the absence of both.

Cutting to her left, about four yards in front of the crease, Bazyk immediately found herself in a crowd of five blue Mount Anthony uniforms. After a series of dekes and a spin to her left, she found the room she needed to boost the Bulldogs' lead to five once again, canceling out a Patriots' tally less than two minutes earlier.

"She's so fluid, she's so graceful," said BBA coach Dave Miceli. "Her stick control is unbelievable."

But Bazyk's four-goal day was just one piece of a balanced Bulldog attack with four other players scoring twice as the hosts claimed their own invitational tournament trophy with a 15-8 win against their rivals on Thursday.

Down two goals inside the first 90 seconds, Burr and Burton (2-0) went up two, 7-5, by halftime.

Emily Cross (two goals) trimmed the deficit to one for the Patriots (2-1) with the first tally after the break, but BBA reeled off four scores in the next three minutes to take control.

"Burr and Burton's got a good team. They had better skills than we did," MAU coach Tom Otero said. "They got more of the balls that needed to be gotten and we gave the ball away much too much to win against any team that we play.

"We had possession numerous times and we gave unforced errors, which turned the ball to them, which resulted in goals."

Kate Montague (two goals) made the Patriots pay for one such miscue, an errant pass over their own end line. The senior midfielder raced off from the restart, curling around MAU goalkeeper Samantha Mayer's right shoulder and firing home to push the lead to 9-6, the game's largest gap to that point.

Fourteen seconds later, Cara Corvino added another solo strike after cleaning up the draw control.

"We had a lot of good possessions in the first half that we didn't finish well," Miceli said. "There were a lot of possessions that ended up in saves."

"It felt like it was a matter of time if we continued to make good decisions we would be OK," Miceli said.

After Bazyk's fourth score, which came with 14 minutes 29 seconds left in the second half, the Bulldogs were able to stretch the field, the clock and the score against the Patriots, pushing their lead to eight before MAU's Colleen Hendery scored her third goal to set the final margin.

"That's what's great about this group of athletes, they've got a great sense of time and score -- and when we needed goals and didn't need goals ... when to force goals and when possession matters more," Miceli said.

Rory Halligan, Katy Jones and Hayley Sabol also scored twice for the Bulldogs, who got four saves from sophomore goalkeeper Lauren MacKenzie.

Freshman Maddy Paro added two goals for MAU. Mayer finished with eight saves.

"Our girls didn't have a good practice yesterday and they played the way they practiced yesterday," Otero said. "But it's a young team, we'll get better."

Woodstock edged Brattleboro, 8-7, in the tournament's consolation game played earlier in the day.

Mount Anthony travels to face Emma Willard (N.Y.) on Saturday. Burr and Burton heads north to play South Burlington, the two-time defending Division I champion, on Monday.


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