Bulldogs roll Cosmos

MANCHESTER - The Burr and Burton Academy Varsity Boys Soccer team remained perfect on Monday in a 4-0 rout of the Springfield Cosmos.

Sophomore Reid Conde got the scoring started early when he knocked one in close post off the cross from senior forward Axel Sapera less than nine minutes into the game.

Sapera got in on the action a little later in the game, scoring off a header that hit the top right corner of the crossbar and bounced in to give BBA the 2-0 advantage with 11:38 left to play in the first half.

About 90 seconds later, the Bulldogs pulled even farther away when Sapera crossed the ball to junior midfielder Liam Kelleher who struck it midair into the upper left corner of the goal to give BBA the 3-0 lead going into halftime.

BBA Head Coach Peter Mull said at halftime he stressed to the team the importantce of treating the game as though they were tied 0-0 going into the second half.

"You always want to be in that mentality. You don't want to come out and just play a flat half because that doesn't really do anything for your team. It's easy to kind of sit on a three nothing lead and lose your intensity. So, we talked about that," said Mull. "Also, just getting good quality shots and crosses."

As for Springfield Head Coach Paul Kendall, he said he encouraged his team to forget about the first half and to focus when the second half began. "I told them 'Guys get your heads up. We start anew at half. Get your heads up. If you're down, they're going to score three more in the second half. Get your heads up, let's focus. You can play the game. Get out there and play it,'" Kendall said. "[We played] much better in the second half. [They were] settling it down [and they were] a little more focused on defense and playing the game."

BBA came out strong in the second half winning corners and firing shot after shot on Springfield's senior keeper Tim Hildreth - who tallied seven of his 16 saves in the second half. But with about 15 minutes gone in the second half, Conde struck again - blasting a shot into the right corner of a wide open net.

In a postgame interview, Mull talked about Conde's performance.

"He makes everybody on the front line dangerous just because he's so good at checking back to the ball and controlling the midfield and playing striker at the same time," said Mull. "He does a good job of settling things down and playing one touch with his other forwards. He knows they make runs off of his touches because he's so good at it. He just has the knack for being in the right place at the right time. He's a sophomore and if he keeps working hard he'll be great someday."

However, Mull said the Man of the Match went to senior defender Robert England for playing great defense and not giving the Cosmos the opportunity to score a goal.

After the game, England said the team's focus going into the second half was to not only maintain their intensity, but to keep the momentum on their side.

"We needed to have energy and really focus on not letting them counter us," said England. "We didn't want to let them get back into the game. [That] is really what we were focusing on and I think everyone did pretty well."

At 9-0, the Bulldogs now sit atop Division II with Montpelier High School (9-0) right behind because of the total point index.

Being undefeated as of press time, England said the team expects each of their last three games - the next of which was scheduled to occur on Wednesday at Woodstock - to be more difficult.

"We know we have a target on our back, but our focus is we're 9-0 today, 0-0 tomorrow and we got to keep moving forward and keep improving," said England. " Teams are going to come after us and we just have to focus on our game and as long as we do that I think we'll keep going, keep doing well."

BBA goalie Mike Nolan had three saves in Monday's contest against Springfield.

The boys final home game will be played on Saturday, Oct. 13, at Applejack Field beginning at 11 a.m.


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