Hustle and quick passing gave the C. Milton Wright boys soccer team plenty of scoring chances against Harford County rival Fallston on Wednesday.
The Mustangs cashed in time and time again.
Adrian Gonzalez and Nick Byers each scored two goals and seven players recorded a goal or an assist as C. Milton Wright claimed a 9-0 home win over the previously unbeaten Cougars.
The Mustangs improved to 6-1 overall and 3-0 in the Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference’s Chesapeake Division. Fallston fell to 4-1 and 1-1 in league play.
Coming off Monday’s 2-0 win over Bel Air, another perennial power in Harford, the Mustangs showed urgency, poise and togetherness in their shocking rout.
Gonzalez headed home a feed from Matt Luk (one goal, one assist) in the game’s seventh minute and Matt Wessel made it 2-0 less than three minutes later. The Mustangs led 4-0 at half and stayed on course with Connor Lesniewski setting the tone two minutes into the second half with an impressive half-volley that found the left corner of the net from 20-plus yards.
“I think the final score is not indicative of the difference between us and Fallston and I think they’ll rebound from this pretty well,” C. Milton Wright coach Brian Tully said. “Things just clicked really well for us today. Guys did what we asked them to do, we worked hard, guys got on the end of balls and created enough opportunities to put the ball in the back of the net.”
The Mustangs won state titles in 2017 and 2018 before falling in the title game to Wilde Lake in 2019. With COVID-19 cancelling the 2020 season, they are still looking for redemption. They appeared primed and focused Wednesday.
“Missing out on last season was really disappointing,” senior Jacob Kegley said. “This year, we’re just trying to get the guys refocused, back in the program and how we play here. It’s one- and two-touch soccer, moving the ball — that’s really a priority to us. We’re just going to try to continue, keep working hard in practice — that’s where it starts — and put as many goals as we can in the back of the net.”
The Mustangs are quickly jelling, playing off each other well and playing to each other’s strengths. The two goals by Gonzalez are a perfect example. His second, which made it 4-0 late in the first half, was a header off an ideal corner kick sent in by Ethan Bender.
“It’s a team effort. With a 9-0 win, everybody deserves credit today,” Gonzalez said. “In the midfield, we really know how to play there and we try to get everybody moving and knowing where we all are and pass the ball. Finishing — two goals on two headers — people know where I want the ball, so I got good assists from people.”
In his team’s 4-0 start, Fallston coach Christopher Hoover saw his Cougars control the pace of play and put away chances, but that wasn’t the case Wednesday with the Mustangs winning most of the one-on-one battles.
The visitor’s best chance to break through came when they were down 2-0 midway through the first half. Jayden Dillard sent a long throw to the middle that Devin Redell one-timed to the right corner, but Mustangs starting goalie Jake Adams kept it out with a diving save.
“Not what we expected, definitely,” Hoover said. “We had been playing so much better, but we just didn’t come out [well at] the beginning of the game and they took it right to us. We were on our back foot and they were on the front foot, and we never recovered.”
Both teams return to action Monday with home games. Fallston takes on conference foe Harford Tech at 3:30 with C. Milton Wright hosting John Carroll in nonconference play at 5:30 p.m.
Goals: CMW – Gonzalez 2, Byers 2, Wessel, Landreth, Luk, Lesniewski, Klein
Assists: CMW – Luk, Kongkraphun 2, Bender 2, Landreth, Feeney
Saves: F – Donahue 3, Kreis 3; CMW – Adams 1, Kinch 3, Kaye 1
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Half: CMW, 4-0