Pittsfield scores a 6-0 win over Renaissance in the Division I soccer tourney
PITTSFIELD -- The object, when an unfamiliar team comes up on the schedule in the Western Massachusetts soccer tournament, is to jump ahead quickly.
The Pittsfield girls followed that script to the letter Sunday afternoon at Kirvin Park. The Generals got a goal in the second minute and scored three times in the first 20 minutes as the fifth-seeded Generals routed 12th-seeded, and overmatched Renaissance 6-0, in a first-round Division I game.
"We didn't know too much about them coming in. We've been working hard on executing in the final third and scoring goals," Pittsfield coach Andy Waluszko said. "Good things happened."
Pittsfield (15-3-1) advance to the quarterfinals on Tuesday at fourth-seeded Chicopee.
Trinity Cookis and Amanda Wright each scored twice for Pittsfield. The General haven't lost at Kirvin since the season-opening game against West Springfield.
"No one wants to lose on their home turf," said Cookis. "For a lot of my teammates, it's their last game here, ever. We wanted to win for them."
Pittsfield dominated the game from the start. The Generals took 15 shots at net in the first half and of the 12 that were on goal, Renaissance keeper Joanna Feliciano made nine saves. The first shot Feliciano saw, however, she couldn't stop.
Pittsfield took the opening kickoff and moved the ball into the Renaissance end. With only 1:33 gone. Alex Trova crossed the ball from the right to Cookis, who settled the ball near the left post and found the back of the net.
"I was on the back side because that's where we have to be -- coach [Waluszko] is always going over that in practice," she said. "We've been going over that all this week in practice actually."
Cookis got her second goal at 10:43 when she was again on the left side after taking a pass from Kara Alfonsi. This time, Cookis sized up Feliciano and roofed a shot into the top of the net for a 2-0 lead. Nine minutes later, Ilana Albert came off the bench and scored a goal to make it 3-0.
Those were shots that found the back of the net. Earlier, Wright, who scored twice in the second half, rattled a shot off the goal post. It was that kind of first half for Renaissance, as the Generals had all of the shots on goal. The visitors didn't get their first shot at net until there were only 6 minutes left to play. Neither PHS goalie -- Allie Hunt or Angela Petretta -- had to make a save.
In all Pittsfield sent 27 shots goalward. Waluszko made wholesale changes in his lineup midway through the second half.
"They came out and played extremely well. Their touch was great. They were very confident on the ball," Renaissance coach Campbell Stevenson said of Pittsfield. "They played our strategy against us to great effect."
Waluszko said that the quick start for his team was a big factor and something he was hoping for.
"That's what we talked about that we wanted to score early," he said. "In the first 10 minutes, we wanted to come out with high energy and make a statement right off the bat."
Renaissance 0 0 -- 0
Pittsfield 3 3 -- 6
P -- Trinity Cookis (Alex Trova), 1:33.
P -- Cookis (Kara Alfonsi), 10:43.
P -- Ilana Albert (Amanda Wright), 19:23.
P -- Wright (UA), 45:18.
P -- Wright (Trova), 48:10.
P -- Kara Alfonsi (Lindsay Neuberger), 49:26.
Saves -- P: Allie Hunt/Angela Petretta 0. R: Joanna Feliciano 16.
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