WINDHAM—Tyler Woolston and Tyler Thornton posted points for the Eagles en route to a 2-0 home victory over Massabesic on Friday evening, Oct. 12.
“They’re hardworking, well-coached; they’re trying to get into playoffs, so we knew they were going to come after us,” Windham head coach Wally LeBlanc said, asked about his pre-game expectations for Massabesic. “And, quite honestly, at the beginning of the game they worked really hard.”
It took Windham a while to find their groove at the outset of matchup: Massabesic controlled for a long early stretch, though they didn’t get on the board. 10 minutes in, the Eagles finally pushed back; soon, they had the offensive edge.
“There’s a midfielder playing for their team that I really like and respect,” LeBlanc said, referring to the Mustangs’ Noah Perry, a senior. “And we needed to mark him a little bit tighter, a little bit more intelligent. He was smart: He was checking to the ball, and then they were switching field, and when they were switching field, they were finding a lot of space to do stuff with, and we needed to tighten that up.”
Not until the start of the second, though, did Windham finally break through the Mustangs’ defense to get on the board. Woolston did the honors, scoring on a feed from Andrew Wing.
“When our forwards work hard, pressing the ball, keeping it in their end, that takes away that flow in the midfield, and that was the adjustment we tried to make,” LeBlanc said. “It was a high press, eventually the ball went in-line and [Tyler] took that shot. It wasn’t the greatest of angles, but it still made it in.”
Less than two minutes after Woolston’s strike, the Eagles made it 2-0. Hayden Bilodeau sparked the play, barreling up the right side of the field with the ball. Bilodeau fed left, across the front of the goal; Owen Flibbert picked up the pass and fired toward the net. Flibbert, though, couldn’t quite solid contact on the ball. Luckily, Thornton swooped into relay it home.
“Tyler Thornton – that’s the first goal of his career, and he buried it,” LeBlanc said. “He’s a senior. That’s a little detail: You follow a loose ball and look to take the shot. He looked to follow that ball and got himself a nice goal.” 2-0 the final.
LeBlanc applauded one of his players whose name hadn’t yet come up. “Mason Rosborough, our outside right back, was heading balls out; he was making overlapping runs tonight. He didn’t really get anything on the scoreboard to show, but he was brilliant, just brilliant. Another senior; we’re going to miss him.”
Cam Brown, Windham netminder, recorded four saves in the shutout.
No. 10 Windham moved to 6-6-1 on the win. The Eagles closed their regular schedule with a 3-0 defeat at Noble (14th, 3-8-1) on Tuesday, Oct. 16. They thus enter the playoffs ranked 11th; they’ll travel to Kennebunk for the first round.
“I think just better game awareness,” LeBlanc said, asked what he wants to do with his boys to prep them for postseason. “I want them to understand what a team is trying to do against us, and make the proper adjustments. And beyond a shadow of a doubt, I want them to work every second of the game. Sometimes we take some minutes off on the field. If we want to be a playoff team, and we want to compete with teams that are better than us, we can’t afford to do that.”
Adam Birt can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @CurrentSportsME.
More photos can be found here:
— Adam Birt (@CurrentSportsME) October 14, 2018
Widnham keeper Cam Brown fends off a high shot vs. Massabesic.
Liam McCusker battles a Massabesic opponent.
Mason Rosborough connects with a ball for the Eagles.
Tyler Thornton scored Windham’s second goal in their 2-0 triumph over Massabesic.
Hayden Bilodeau chases down a loose, bouncing ball.
Windhamite Evan Glicos clashes with a Massabesic opponent.
Owen Flibbert connects with a ball for the Eagles.
Micah Andujar settles a ball in heavy traffic for the Eagles.