Jon Boland scores a hat trick as Drury boys beat Taconic in soccer
Despite thoroughly dominating the field of play for 40-plus minutes, the Blue Devils found themselves ahead by the precarious score of 2-1 as the clock ticked through its 46th minute.
A 2-0 halftime lead had been pushed to the brink by a Kyle Stasiewski goal that brought the visiting Braves within one.
Blue Devils Head Coach John Jacobbe pondered a timeout, but instead opted to see how his veteran squad would respond.
The response Jacobbe was looking for was swift and decisive. Boland twirled his way through the Taconic defense and booted a shot into the back of the net just 30 seconds after Stasiewski had gotten the Braves on the board.
"I wanted to see what our guys would do to hold their composure," said Jacobbe. "We have some guys who can be leaders. We gave up that goal and got mad at ourselves, but our leaders stepped it up, especially with Jon on that big rush."
The Blue Devils controlled possession for an overwhelming portion of the contest, and goalkeepers Corbin Rumbolt and Max Daugherty needed to make only one save a piece on the defensive end. Drury's midfield and attack formed a virtually impenetrable wall just inside the host's zone and the constant long balls into Taconic's area were eventually taken advantage of.
"It looked like they tried to mark us on the long ball, but we got it through too many times and capitalized on our chances," said Boland. "It's always fun to score, so try and put as many as you can in."
Boland scored first in the seventh minute, running a two-man game with fellow speedster Reece Racette up the middle of the field. Racette got his own goal not long after, taking a pass from Cove Massey up the right sideline and dancing his way in on the keeper for a shot inside the far post.
"They're both good friends and and great athletes. Jon is a lifer soccer player. Reece has joined us for a couple years now and we're lucky to have him," said Jacobbe. "Those two have a feel for where they're going to be and work well together out there"
However, the two-goal advantage didn't seem befitting for the 40 minutes of soccer Drury submitted. Behind the strength of goalkeeper Colby Sherman (nine saves), Taconic nearly stole momentum away.
"We had plenty of chances in the first half, but their keeper came up with some big saves," said Jacobbe. "When you're playing a team that has struggled putting the ball in the net, you've got to be careful. We made a dangerous back-pass and they were able to come away with a steal and put one by us."
Boland's star turn took care of that. In the 56th minute, Taconic was whistled for a handball in the zone. Boland took the penalty kick and beat a diving Sherman under his right arm for the 4-1 lead.
Daugherty scored the fifth goal in the 57th minute, taking advantage of a rebound off a Sherman save to finish off the rebuilding Braves.
"We have spurts where we know what we're doing, but then we go flat, don't communicate and find ourselves down," said Taconic Head Coach Shaun Stannard. "There's just too much separation and our first touch is not creating space. The only starter returning is Colin [Connors] in the middle, so we've got to keep working and just get better."
Taconic 0 1 — 1
Drury 2 3 — 5
D — Jon Boland (Reece Racette), 16:46. Racette (Cove Massey), 22:58.
T — Kyle Stasiewski (unassisted), 46:16. D — Boland (unassisted), 46:46. Boland (PK), 55:30. Max Daugherty (unassisted), 56:22.
Saves — T: Colby Sherman, 9. Ian McGrath, 6. D: Corbin Rumbolt, 1. Max Daugherty, 1.
Reach sportswriter Mike Walsh at 413-496-6240 or @CLNS_Walsh.
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