Boys Soccer: Bonny Eagle can't find a way to score, falls to Marshwood

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STANDISH—Despite turning in a strong second half – one marked by a number of quality scoring chances – the Scots succumbed 3-0 to the visiting Hawks on Thursday evening, Sept. 27. A trio of Marshwooders posted points en route to the W.

“It’s always a battle,” Bonny Eagle head coach Lawrence Robertson said of his team’s history vs. Marshwood. “They have some key players that’re very strong on the ball. [Mike LaSelva], he kind of controls and quarterbacks the game from his spot. He moves the ball really well.”

“They have some kids that understand their coaches’ game plan,” Robertson said. “They’re very solid in what they do. They rarely break their formation, so they’re always in their shape – and they have a good shape.”

The Hawks began the outing with heavy pressure. Scots keeper Ben Atkinson turned a handful of solid saves in that time, and his boys once or twice managed to break Marshwood’s grip on the attack and launch into forays of their own. But Bonny Eagle couldn’t fend Marshwood off indefinitely, and the Hawks got on the board first in the 22nd minute. Malcolm Connell struck from the right side on a feed from wide left to set the score at 1-0.

“[Ben] got unlucky on the first goal,” Robertson said. “We weren’t able to clear the ball, and it was already beyond him when the kid tapped it in.”

“He played well,” Robertson said of his keeper. “In the first half, he made a lot really good reactionary saves. A lot of the time – when he’s able to see the ball – he’s able to parry it away or catch it. He makes plays on it.”

“He’s definitely matured this season as a goalie,” Robertson said. “He hadn’t had a lot of minutes; he wasn’t on the team last year – he played JV and first team – and he’s worked really hard and he’s competed at practices and he’s had some good games. So we keep him in there.”

Bonny Eagle held Marshwood at bay through the remainder of the uphill half – and through most of the downhill half as well. Atkinson continued to log important saves, and his fellow Scots upped their own efforts, multiplying their opportunities in the Hawks’ end, though never converting.

“We basically changed the formation around,” said Robertson, asked what halftime adjustments he and his team made to give themselves a better shot in the second half. “At that point, it was 1-0, so trying to go for it…We were able to have more numbers, higher up the field, on the offensive side of the ball.”

“When were able to get it up to those guys, some of the seniors, who have composure on the ball, we were able to move it around,” Robertson said. “We definitely had better chances in the second half. Obviously more opportunities. I think maybe we had one shot on goal in the first half. And then, in the second half, seven, eight shots on goal.”

Marshwood notched the 2-0 tally with 12:36 left on the clock; Ian Bryant did the honors. Not long after, Bonny Eagle recorded one of their best chances of the night – Zack Allocca, pushing up the middle of the field, fed to David Byrne on the left side and Byrne ducked center-ward before ripping a hard, low blast. That attempt, though, like all BE’s others, came to naught. With 3:50 to play, the Hawks’ Henry Honkonen hashed their third and last point for the 3-0 result.

“Toward the end there, we got a little unlucky,” Robertson said. “After they scored their second goal, the momentum was totally in their favor. We had the lesser of the chances. They played strategically well, as far as killing off the game with taking their take with the throw-ins, and taking their time with the corners – which is fair play; it’s all part of the strategy.”

Robertson took a moment to applaud one more member of his squad by name: “Sophomore Nate Chamberland, he put in another good performance in the midfield. He plays hard, he works off the ball, he’s very passionate about it.”

The loss dropped Bonny Eagle to 1-4-3. The No. 14 Scots began the autumn on a high note – with a 1-0 win over Noble (currently ranked 12th, at 1-7-1); they followed that up with a 2-2 tie vs. Windham (7th, 4-4-1), a 3-0 loss to Falmouth (second, 6-1-1), a 4-4 tie vs. Biddeford (17th, 0-7-1), a 3-0 loss to Cheverus (fifth, 5-1-1), a 0-0 draw against Portland (ninth, 2-3-3) and a 1-0 loss to Sanford (10th, 4-5).

In short: After triumphing over the Knights, Bonny Eagle has alternated between defeats and draws. No doubt, then, they’re eager to earn more victories; they got their next chance on Saturday, Sept. 29, when they traveled to Westbrook (15th, 2-7). The Scots pulled out a 2-0 triumph in that bout. On Tuesday, Oct. 2, the team travels to Deering (11th, 4-5), and on Thursday the 4th, they host South Portland (ninth, 5-3).

Adam Birt can be reached at abirt@keepmecurrent.com. Follow him on Twitter: @CurrentSportsME.

Bonny Eagler Zack Allocca keeps a step ahead of a Marshwood opponent.

Bonny Eagle’s Regan McCleary battles a Hawk.

Scot Andrew Pendleton throws a foot up after the ball.

Elias Eberhart boots a ball away for Bonny Eagle.

David Byrne (not that David Byrne) clashes with a Marshwood opponent.

Nate Chamberland goes shoulder-to-shoulder with a Hawk.

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