First half goals cost Long Trail
DORSET — An undermanned Long Trail School boys soccer competed well with Sharon Academy, but came out on the losing end of a 4-0 result.
LTS had very few substitutes due a handful of its starters being injured or observing the religious holiday of Yom Kippur.
The two sides met on Monday with Sharon winning 7-0, so both teams were familiar with how the other played.
The Phoenix dominated much of the first half, with the majority of play happening in the Long Trail end.
Riley Eastman put Sharon ahead with a goal within the first five minutes of play.
Eastman came back about four minutes later, with another great strike, this one coming from the right side of the net, and he finished the hat trick in the 25th minute to put the Phoenix ahead 3-0.
A defensive breakdown late in the half, resulted in Olly Skeet-Browning having a perfect chance inside the box, netting Sharon its fourth and final goal of the half.
The Mountain Lions had a much stronger effort after the break, doing a better job of marking the attackers for the Phoenix. Sharon had some great crosses on goal in the second half, but couldn't find a guy on the other end to finish the chance.
Sharon appeared to have a goal midway through the second half, but it was called off for a player being offsides.
With the Phoenix controlling most of the game's possession, LTS had to lock in defensively. While they weren't perfect, the Mountain Lions were much more up to the task in the second half.
"We had a clearing of the decks at halftime in terms of game preparation and role-playing," said LTS coach Tim Smith. "I think they answered those questions in the second half. We had to bend, but not break. They're a tough group."
The Mountain Lions couldn't produce any offense on the day, so it was on their midfield and back line to step up. When they couldn't make a stop, LTS keeper Bryce Coe was there as the last line of defense.
At times, the sophomore single-handily kept the Mountain Lions in the game. He made some great diving saves and made up for some of the defensive breakdowns of the players in front of him.
Sharon peppered Coe with shots all game long, taking 30 on the day. Coe did his best to keep the Phoenix at bay and made 14 saves.
"We've been riding [Bryce's play] all year long, which is hard for him as a sophomore goalkeeper," Smith said. "He's definitely kept us in games even when we shouldn't have been."
Adam Aucoin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed at @AAucoin_Banner on Twitter.
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