Marriotts Ridge’s string of shutouts to open the season reached four Friday evening.
Hammond, though, made the Mustangs earn it.
The host Golden Bears got off 10 shots, including several quality chances in transition, but ultimately couldn’t break through in a 3-0 loss. It was the first time this year, however, that a team has had double-digit attempts against Marriotts Ridge (4-0), which has now outscored the opposition 16-0 this fall.
“In transition they were very dangerous,” Marriotts Ridge coach Kevin Flynn said. “When we brought our players up and didn’t convert, they were there to counter. There was definitely a lot more testing us in the back than in our first three games.”
For all the increased pressure, the Mustangs did a good job of coming up with answers. In the closing minutes, with the game in hand, Marriotts Ridge goalie Ryan Miller made a pair of tough stops to preserve the shutout
“The defense is playing really well and there’s definitely been some talk about how we want to keep this going,” said Miller, who finished with four saves. “It helps that the offense is keeping the ball on the other end so much. I’m not getting a lot of action, which is a good thing.”
Marriotts Ridge’s offense got things going early on against the Golden Bears. Just less than 12 minutes into the first half, Nick Applegate headed home a corner kick from Brad Martinelli for a 1-0 advantage.
Then, with under two minutes remaining in the first half, Jeff Kammerer upped the lead to two when he finished a cross from Martinelli on the left side.
Applegate finished off the scoring with his second goal of the game, set up courtesy of a long throw by Connor Delaney, midway through the second half.
Hammond goalie Scott Lastova made 10 saves in the loss.
Marriotts Ridge 3, Hammond 0
Goals: MR – Applegate 2, Kammerer.
Assists: MR – Martinelli 2, Delaney.
Saves: MR – Miller 4; Ha – Lastova 10.
Half: 2-0 MR.
Reservoir 7, Long Reach 3
Goals: Re – Jobst 2, Sheriff 2, Rodas, Peprah, Lopes; LR – N/A.
Assists: Re – Akuffo, Dearden, Kosmowski, Lopes, Rodas, Saunderson; LR – N/A.
Saves: Re – Dearden 2, Kroll 2; LR – N/A.