BRIAN BORELLI moves the ball up the field during action against Kingswood Oct. 10. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
October 15, 2012ALTON — The Prospect Mountain soccer boys continued their recovery from a recent offensive struggle, this time at the hands of their neighbors from Kingswood.
Prospect scored five goals in the first 10 minutes of the game and never looked back, taking a 9-0 win over the Knights on a dreary Oct. 10 afternoon.
"We came out and weren't playing basic defense," Kingswood coach Mike Best stated. "On one play, there were four guys sticking their foot at the ball and one guy dribbles around all of them and scores."
Prospect coach Bubba Noyes, who had to play the first half without a good chunk of his starting lineup, noted that the kids who filled in did an admirable job.
"It gave some of the other guys a chance to get in there and play," Noyes said.
The Timber Wolves needed just more than a minute to score the first goal, as Marc Fernandez put a shot off of Kingswood keeper Trent Taylor's fingers for a 1-0 lead just 1:15 into the game.
Prospect continued its attack, with Kyle Roberts and Fernandez sending shots wide and Alex Bennett putting one on net that Taylor was able to stop.
With 4:10 gone in the game, backup goalie Brian Borelli, who moved out on the field to help fill in some gaps, notched a goal off of a Kingswood defender, upping the lead to 2-0.
Two minutes later, it was Bennett finding Ken Gilbert with a great pass and Gilbert buried the ball in the net for a 3-0 lead.
After strong defense from Kingswood's Bill Pelligrino stopped one Prospect chance, Cody Yelle headed home a shot with 7:20 gone in the first half for a 4-0 lead.
Taylor made a save on another shot by Bennett moments later, but on a corner kick with just more than 30 minutes left to play in the half, Roberts headed the ball home for a 5-0 lead.
Noyes was excited to see a couple of balls headed into the net, as the Timber Wolves haven't done that much this year.
"We really hadn't had many head shot goals," Noyes said.
After the fifth goal, Prospect backed off its offensive attack, focusing on moving the ball around and working on their passing all around the field.
Travis Drapeau had probably Kingswood's best early chance, but he was denied by the solid Prospect defense. He also had another shot that sailed wide of the net later in the half.
Brendan Donahue had a good chance late for the Knights, but Prospect keeper Jake Towle came up with the save to keep his shutout in tact.
Kingswood did have a corner kick late in the half but couldn't convert and the teams went to halftime with Prospect up 5-0.
The two teams exchanged early corners but couldn't convert. Aleix De Bofarull Prats had a couple of good chances for the Timber Wolves, with Jeff Madden turning in solid defense on one chance and the other sailing high of the net.
Jake Troy had a good look, but Knight keeper Travis Hughes made the stop. Yelle and Peter Benenate had shots go wide for the Timber Wolves.
Troy got the hosts back on the board 11:20 into the second half, as he fired a shot past Hughes for a 6-0 lead.
De Bofarull Prats had another great chance on a corner kick, but headed the ball high. Bennett had a shot go wide and Fernandez just missed Borelli on a great crossing pass.
The Knights also had a few chances, with Donahue going in on net only to see Logan LaRoche step up with strong defense. Drapeau had a shot that Towle stopped for a save.
Roberts and Joe Perry had chances go over the net for Prospect, but with 18:52 to go, Roberts sent a great pass forward to Fernandez, who moved in from the left and fired the ball to the far post for a 7-0 lead.
Kingswood had a couple of corner kicks but couldn't make them mean anything and Prospect came back down the field with a goal from Chris Whalen for an 8-0 lead with 14:06 to go.
Kingswood's Brian Palumbo had a couple of good chances, including one shot that appeared destined for the top corner of the goal, only to just miss its mark.
At the other end, Dave Troy sent a shot off the cross bar and had another shot stopped by Hughes. Fernandez also took over goal duties for the Timber Wolves. Willis Hayes and Carl Stohlberg had chances go wide, but Perry finished up the scoring with a tally with 3:21 to go for the 9-0 win.
Both coaches credited the other team for their work.
"I hoped the field conditions would be a little of an equalizer," Best said. "But credit to Prospect, they're always a well-structured team."
"I give those guys (Kingswood) credit," Noyes said. "They played clean and with what they've been through all year, it's not always easy.
"They don't give up," the veteran Timber Wolf coach said.
Best again went back to his team's lack of defense as a key problem.
"We've been working on it in practice, but I just can't get them there fast enough," Best said.
He also praised Donahue and Palumbo for their solid offensive chances at the other end.
"But, we lack cohesive movement when we move the ball forward," Best said. "The guys up front don't' have the support they should have."
For Noyes, keeping his kids from scoring isn't always easy, but he knows the value of working on other skills as well.
"It's real difficult," he said. "But it's a situation where we can work on passing and shielding the ball."
The Timber Wolves finished the week with a 2-0 loss at Belmont on Friday, Oct. 12, while the Kingswood boys dropped an 8-0 decision to Gilford.
The Knights will finish up their season today, Oct. 18, at 6:30 p.m. against Inter-Lakes on Alumni Field.
The Timber Wolves will finish their season on Friday, Oct. 19, at 4 p.m. against Somersworth in what could be a key battle for a playoff berth for the 'Toppers.
The Division III playoffs will get under way on Tuesday, Oct. 23, at 3 p.m. at the home of the higher seed. The second round is Thursday, Oct. 25, also at 3 p.m. at the home of the higher seed.
Joshua Spaulding can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 569-3126