Greenwood, Mustangs rout LaBrae
In that initial 30 minutes, the best scoring opportunity came from Mathews forward Dominic Greenwood. Greenwood raced down the field, and just as he was preparing a shot, the junior stumbled over the ball and didn’t get the shot off.
As he stood up, his facial expression told the whole story. He wasn’t going to let that happen again.
Greenwood wasn’t able to put his thoughts to words, but Mustangs assistant coach Dimitri Callow filled in the blanks.
“When Dom gets down on himself, he goes off, he really ignites,” Callow said. “He’s the hardest critic to himself. There’s no one that can sit there and criticize themselves harder than him.”
That self-critiquing worked for Greenwood as that small stumble lit a fire under him that led to four goals for the team’s leading scorer.
Greenwood got his first on the board with a shot to the bottom right of the net with around 10 minutes remaining in the half. With 30 seconds left, senior Dallas Runner beat LaBrae keeper Logan DeArmitt for a 2-0 lead.
During the first half, LaBrae was able to trap the Mustangs offside multiple times.
During the break, Callow was able to get his team to flip the script and trap the Vikings in the second half in addition to breaking through the traps set by LaBrae.
“Last year we were doing it a lot,” he said. “This year we have two freshmen in the backline, so it’s a little harder to do the offside traps. They did it well. It’s just that an offside trap only works well if you have the speed to contribute to it, and I think that’s how we turned it up on them. We put our fastest players in the front and we burned through their offside trap.”
After the offensive adjustments, it gave the Mustangs more freedom on the attacking side and the results showed. Greenwood was able to capitalize with three goals, along with Tristen Runner, Dave Arkwright and Aiden Laney all scoring in the second half.
Vikings senior Matt Biery got his team on the board late in the game with LaBrae’s only goal of the evening.
The Vikings are battling injuries and are playing with a shortened bench, leading to the them heavily rely on their starters.
“We just look a little bit fatigued,” LaBrae coach Isaiah Carmichael said. “We have a lot of guys playing a lot of numbers with very limited subs. We’ve just had two kids come back from concussions, one almost had a concussion but thankfully got cleared. We’ve just got to bounce back, find our key, start using each other, start building each other up and connecting on our passes.”
LaBrae looks to get some rest and recovery before their next match against Berkshire on Saturday, while the Mustangs prepare for a road showdown against Bristol.
Like against the Vikings, Mathews knows they’ll be outsized by the Panthers, but it knows with some preparation, the team will be ready.
“They’re going to be big, they’re going to be physical and we know they’re going to be a little bit taller,” head coach George Callow said. “I asked the team to be more ready here (pointing to his head) and here (pointing to his heart) and with each other, to stay calm with each other and to be easy with each other.
“With the little stuff, we’ve got to read it quicker,” he added. “We’re trying to teach them to get themselves in the ready position, especially for mid-flight balls. Those are the ones you want to take away, you have to disrupt them… It’s going to be tough, and we have to continue to control touches on the ball.”