Berkshire traveled to Ludlow, MA today to play Bridgton Academy at Lusitano Stadium. It was the first match ever for Berkshire against the all-PG school from Maine, and the Bears knew they would need to play their best to earn a win against the talented Bridgton side.
The Bears jumped out to early lead scoring in the first 30 seconds of the match when Jack Harrison '15 found Justin Donawa '15 on a perfectly timed run. Donawa touched the ball past the keeper and slotted the ball into the side netting. Just three minutes later the Bears struck again when Mutaya Mwape '16 found Milton Martinez '15 who struck a beautiful ball past the Bridgton keeper. Up 2-0 in the early going, the Bears gained confidence and move the ball around well and generated several more fine scoring chances. The Bears would add one more in the first half when in the 21st minute Komar Martinez-Paiz '15 found Justin Donawa '15 on another nice run. Once again Donawa skillfully maneuvered around the oncoming keeper and touched the ball into the net giving the Bears a 3-0 lead. Though Berkshire controlled most of the first half, Bridgton did proved to be dangerous on several counter attacks. Berkshire back line of Tanner Tomasi '14, Nate Summers '14, Stephen DePietto '15, and Kevin O'Neill '14 did well to fend off a skilled Bridgton attack. Emmett Clarke was solid in goal and made two saves in the first half.
In the second half, Bridgton came out strong and did a great job putting passes together. Berkshire was forced to defend a lot more under some skillful play by Bridgton. The Bears gave up several corner kicks and allowed several relatively dangerous shots on goal. However, the Bears defense again proved worthy of the challenges being thrown at them and denied Bridgton on each attempt. As the half progressed, Berkshire was able to regain control of the tempo and push Bridgton back into their half. In the 64th minute, Berkshire scored again. This time it was Austin Zaepfel '14 who converted a great chance after receiving a great pass from Mutaya Mwape '16. Just three minutes later, the Bears would score again in what proved to be the final goal of the match. It was Justin Donawa '15 who scored his third of the day when he broke behind the Bridgton line just a Austin Zaepfel '14 slotted perfect ball through into the space. Donawa ran onto the ball and then struck a blast into the back of net.
It was a great day for the Bears, as they were able to put together a complete performance against a very good Bridgton team. All members of the Bears squad were able to play valuable minutes today, and each player made meaningful contributions to the team's success. Hunter Borwick '16 made some outstanding runs off the left wing, and Matty Wieczorek '14 contributed meaningfully in both halves playing on the wing and in the middle. Ian Rasmussen '14 made some dangerous runs on the wing and Luke Lockwood '16 proved to be tough in defense.
Since recovering from a preseason injury and returning to the field, Emmett Clark '14 has earned 3 wins in net and not conceded a goal to date. Today he made several find stops.
Up next, Berkshire hosts Gunnery at home on Saturday. The match begins at 3:30 PM. Come out and support the Bears if you are free!