MANCHESTER — At the beginning of Saturday’s Division I boys soccer quarterfinal between No. 4 Burr and Burton and No. 5 Burlington, the Seahorses’ opening shot clanged off the far post and away from BBA goalie Emmett Edwards.
From then on, Burlington tightened the pressure, scoring twice in the first half and once more midway through the second in a 3-0 victory over BBA at Taylor Field.
“They have a bunch of good players, we knew there are guys we had to be aware of,” said BBA coach Patrick Zilkha. “We wanted to stick to our gameplan and look for our moments.”
The game was scoreless until the 18th minute, when Burlington’s Manjo Karki made his way through the Bulldog defense and put it past Edwards for a 1-0 advantage.
“We have a strong sense of defense, that’s what we know best,” Zilkha said. “If we do the right things, it’s hard to score on us. They didn’t have a lot of opportunities, but it doesn’t take a lot. We just wanted to keep the mistakes to a minimum, we did that, but Burlington is a good team.”
Zilkha said after the first goal, the captains brought the team together to regroup.
“The guys never lost their cool with each other, when they got down, the kids came together,” Zilkha said. “After the first goal, the captains brought it in. They didn’t have their heads hanging low after giving up a goal.”
With 2:15 left before the half, however, Burlington doubled the lead when Nolan Simon took advantage of the pressure on the BBA goal to put one in.
“We didn’t play many Northern teams, so we didn’t have a good sense of it,” said junior Madox Mathews. “We watched film on them and tried to make the adjustments, but they came out with a little different style.”
“We looked for opportunities when they were there, looking for the counterattack when the opportunity was available, but it never came to fruition,” Zilkha said.
BBA moved up to a more offensive set in the final 15 minutes, but on the counter, Burlington’s Karki scored against the run of play with 13:20 left.
“We knew they were a good team, they had scored nine on Mount Anthony,” Mathews said. “We wanted to take our chances if we got them, try to control the ball and possess, but we had trouble getting the ball out of the defensive third.”
Burlington 8-2-2 moves on to the semifinal against CVU, while BBA’s season ends at 5-2-1.
“We graduate a lot of great seniors, but we have a strong core of juniors moving up,” Zilkha said.