NORTH ADAMS -- MCLA never recovered from an early shift in momentum against Castleton State College on Wednesday and fell 3-0 to its non-conference guest.
The Trailblazers dominated the flow of play for the first seven minutes, blasting four shots and forcing Castleton’s Nate Koenemann to record three saves.
The Spartans’ offense didn’t pressure the Trailblazers until the eight minute mark when Spencer Dandurand took his team’s first shot of the game from outside the penalty box. The ball bounced into the six-yard box, off MCLA’s Scott Winslow and into the back of the net.
From there on out, Castleton never looked back.
"You have to be mentally tough to deal with those things, that happens it’s soccer," MCLA coach Adam Hildabrand said. "I think what it was is we come out and we’re flying and some of the guys are thinking ‘we’re going to be up 5-0 at halftime’ and then all the sudden a deflection goes into the goal, literally their first shot of a game, and all of the sudden it’s a huge shift."
The Spartans took advantage of the momentum shift, out shooting the Trailblazers 10-2 after the opening tally. Only one of those shots went on goal for MCLA, while Castleton put five on the frame.
The second half was very similar to the first half in that regard. Castleton fired 11 more shots and MCLA managed just four.
"They kept the pressure
Castleton State’s Tanner LeCuyer helped manufacture the second-half goals for the Spartans. The first on a long throw-in into the 18-yard box that Bryce Kaler drove home. The second, on a free kick from just outside the 18-yard box that Dillon Zaengle headed past MCLA’s Dillon Wager.
"[The final goals] were just a long throw and a free kick that we didn’t quite deal with properly," Hildabrand said. "They’re big and direct on those and we didn’t deal with them properly. It’s just the way it is, all we can do is learn from it."
The Trailblazers will now prepare for a conference matchup against Framingham State on Saturday.
"[Castleton] is tough competition, it’s good to play a team like them before Saturday when we play a big conference game," said forward Luke Fisher. "We need to take away the chances that we had. All we have to do is work on finishing them."
MCLA got off to a hot start this year going 2-0 and scoring eight goals, since then the Trailblazers have gone 1-5 and have only scored three times.
"We’re just going to build our team chemistry and keep building as the season goes along and into conference play," Brown said. "We’ll just keep figuring out where people like to play. We’ll find our spots, we’ll find feet and we’ll find the goal."
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