STANDISH—Tyler Williams led Bonny Eagle in battering visiting Erskine 9-1 on Saturday afternoon, April 28: Williams hashed four goals and three assists for the Scots in their victory over the Eagles.
“Tyler’s really stepped up,” Bonny Eagle head coach Andrew Slefinger said of Williams. “He’s worked hard in the off-season to get that shot down, and it showed again today.”
“We’ve never played Erskine before,” Slefinger went on. “I know they’re a new program in the past five, six years or so. Had no clue what they had, what they brought. We knew what we had, and we rolled what we had.”
The Eagles fended the Scots successfully off through much of the first quarter; finally, with just a couple minutes to play before the buzzer, Williams broke the deadlock. A few minutes into the second quarter, Vinnie Bruni made it 2-0 from the top-right corner of the Erskine zone on an assist by Dylan Cobbett.
“Slow start,” Slefinger said. “I thought we could’ve given a little more intensity in that first quarter. A lot of fundamental lapses…but they turned it around. A lot of in-game adjustments. I think a lot of guys looked at each other, a lot of picking each other up.”
Bonny Eagle added just one more in the second: Griffin Madore notched midway through the stretch, grabbing a ground ball in close on the Erskine net after teammate James Conley dumped a shot inward from the outside-left. The Scots really heated up in the third, when Madore scored early for 4-0, Williams shortly thereafter for 5-0, Cobbett 63 seconds after that for 6-0. The Eagles got on the board – Brady Studley did the Eagles’ honors – with 2:06 remaining, but Williams answered 56 seconds later. 7-1.
Erskine didn’t look bad throughout the game; they simply couldn’t finish. But that, of course, is a testament to Bonny Eagle. “We shut them down a little bit through the boxes,” Slefinger said. “That was translating into more offensive chances. Second game [of the season]; I thought we could be a little bit better on the ground balls. But that’s just the way it goes.”
The Scots added two more in the final quarter. John Merrill struck for the team at 8:46 and Max Zygaldo did likewise at 1:12, capping what would’ve looked like a routine win, had it not come so early in the year, when nothing is yet routine.
Beyond Williams’s seven points on the day, Madore finished with two goals and two assists, Merrill with one and one, and Zygaldo, Cobbett and Bruni with a goal apiece. Also of note: Wyatt Blanchette went 12-14 on the faceoff.
“The [offensive] spread this year,” Slefinger said, “I’ve got a lot of new guys. Leaning offensive talent. A couple of the new guys are really focused and dialed-in. It’s fun to coach kids that – I’ve got kids that stay after every day and shoot 100, 150 balls, just to get better every day. The group that I’ve got right now is incredible. Very young – I think we only graduate two this year. So we’ve got the leaders, the seniors, but the young guys’ve really got to step up, and they have been so far.”
“Wyatt Blanchette on the face,” Slefinger went on, asked who else (besides Williams) played well. “He absolutely dominated today. He is dialed-in. He knows his role on the team, he works hard at it every single day. He brings what he needs to to be successful. It was great to watch him; we had so many offensive chances just off his efforts.”
The win is Bonny Eagle’s second of the season; they’re now 2-0. Their first game, against Noble, was another blowout, 14-2.
“Last year, we lost a lot of games by close scores – one-, two-goal games,” Slefinger said. “But things are going pretty well right now. We’ve got a heavy stretch the next couple weeks. I think we play six games in fifteen days.”
The Scots travel to Massabesic on Wednesday, May 2, and Biddeford on Friday, May 4.
Adam Birt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @CurrentSportsME.
Parker Williams defends along the sideline.
Vinnie Bruni pulls the trigger on a (soon-to-be-successful) shot.
James Conley shovels the ball inward for the Scots.
Dylan Cobbett plays keepaway with an Erskine defender while surveying his pass options.
Anthony Breton fires forward for the Scots.
Brandon Caron carries for the Scots.
Griffin Madore added two goals and two assists for Bonny Eagle on Saturday.
Owen Harmon carries up the sideline for Bonny Eagle.
Max Zygaldo carries on the attack for Bonny Eagle.
Ajay Cates grabs a ground ball.