By MICHAEL LETENDRE
PLAINVILLE – Senior night for the Plainville boys soccer team was a special evening for a group of 10 outstanding young men on Monday, Oct. 21.
And with Bulkeley of Hartford in town for the event, the Bulldogs were in for a tough night of “football” action.
It might have taken Plainville about half of the first period to finally get on the board but once that first goal was notched, several additional tallies came pouring in.
Off a 3-0 halftime tilt, Plainville scored two quick goals over the first five minutes of the second period and dropped the Bulldogs 6-0 in a CCC South encounter from Alumni Field in Plainville.
With the win, the Blue Devils earned its 10th victory of the season (10-4-1 overall) while Bulkeley fell to 1-14 on the campaign.
The experience edge went to Plainville as that group of seniors all got to shine in their final home contest.
With the combination of keepers Alex Bawol and crafty Cody Carneski pitching a shutout for the home team, it left the Plainville offense plenty of chances to get to work.
“We had a good, solid effort,” said Plainville coach Tim Brown. “We wanted to get on a roll. Namely, the most important thing was we didn’t let any (goals) in and I think that’s four games in a row that we’ve had clean sheets (shutouts).”
And early on, some of those seniors got to that work right away.
Just two minutes into things, Elijah Caruso set a ball beautifully to Julius Brown but he kicked it right at keeper Ronadre Wollery (13 saves) for a save.
Bulkeley hung around in the fray but Plainville was simply too aggressive and didn’t allow the Bulldogs to set up any substantial drives.
Ten minutes into the showdown, Andrew Rottier dribbled drove down the right side of the field but his attempt just went wide of the mark.
On the other side, Bulkeley’s Meysar Abdulkadir took a stab at Plainville’s goal, missing it high, as the game was afoot early in the first half.
Pugliese almost manufactured a goal – seemingly beating the whole team in one-on-all jaunt – with 25:12 left in the first but the Bulldogs’ defense remained pesky and cut down the drive.
A great Brown to Juan Torres cross was snuffed out by the Bulkeley keeper a minute later while Bulkeley’s Noah McPherson booted a ball over the Plainville goal as the first 20 minutes of the contest was a scoreless affair.
Plainville’s Mike Giuliani narrowly missed a header into the net with 19:50 remaining but the chances were mounting for the home team it was just a matter of time before one of those balls dropped in.
And that first goal finally dropped in rather quick fashion.
With 16:38 left in the stanza, a charging Nick D’Amico found Torres in front of the Bulkeley goal, and jammed it in for a score as the Blue Devils zipped up a 1-0 push.
And with 11:01 showing on the clock in the first half, Quentin Lux made the final of four consecutive scoring attempts and found pay dirt. Sort of.
Lux took several consecutive shots at the goal and one that looked like it was going to float in actually hit off the top of the beam and out before he gave it a mighty head-shot back into the net.
The head-shot didn’t have a chance to make it in but instead, the ball bounced off Wollery’s back, into the goal, and slipped in as Plainville’s edge increased to 2-0 with just under 9:00 remaining in the half.
The Blue Devils simply continued to pressure, continued to swarm, and even as Gulliani sailed a potential third goal over the head of the Bulkeley keeper.
While Plainville closed out the first period firing bullets – out-shooting the Bulldogs by at least a 3-to-1 ratio – Bulkeley was on its collective heels and watched one more goal fall into the net before the horn sounded at the half.
Lux scored off a set-up by Alex Autunno and with 3.5 seconds, the 3-0 lead by the Blue Devils was an imposing sight on the halftime scoreboard.
“Scoring the goals that we did shows us that we’re starting to click offensively,” said Brown.
Plainville opened the second period just like the way it ended the first and the scores piled up quickly.
Only 2:48 into the stanza, Torres found Pugliese for a quick goal and then it was Autunno getting right back into the assist column with another nifty pass for another tally.
Pugliese flushed another one in with 35:54 remaining and not five minutes into the second half, it was a 5-0 game.
And with 6:19 remaining in the contest, Alex Zelasko put a little icing on the cake as his goal, from the right side of the box, was crossed into the net beautifully as the 6-0 tally became the final score of the night.
By that time, Brown was slowly trickling his bench into the game as Plainville’s senior core took it all in.
Playing in their final regular season home games were seniors Alex Bawol, Elijah Caruso, Cody Charneski, Nico Christy, Nick Bendas-Giano, Mike Giuliani, Hunter Lennon, and Lukasz Skawinski along with captains Shane Pugliese and Andrew Rottier.
By MICHAEL LETENDRE