MIDDLETOWN >> Benjamin Pierce had a hat trick as Maloney of Meriden dominated Middletown, 5-0, in a Central Connecticut Conference South boys soccer match played at Rosek-Skubel Stadium Tuesday evening.
Maloney (1-1) outshot Middletown 14-7 and Spartan goalkeeper Guadalupe Martinez wasn’t challenged all game, making four routine saves.
“Maloney had a game plan and they executed it,” Middletown coach Jon Harder said. “We had a game plan and we left it on the drawing board. But we’re young and I don’t think the score is indicative of the game.”
The Spartans wasted little time in taking command. Pierce got the first of his three goals with 34:52 remaining in the first half, scoring off a pass from Dennis Blandon. Maloney built the lead to 2-0 on a direct kick by Jonathan Sanchez from 30 yards out, the ball sailing over the head of keeper Martin Kalen.
That gave Maloney a 2-0 halftime lead.
“We needed this one,” Maloney coach David Parness said. “Since the Berlin game [a 1-0 loss] we talked about playing with energy from the beginning and coming out with intensity. We did that and we put ourselves in a position where they had to change up and do other stuff.”
The winners blew the match open in the second half. Pierce got his second goal with 26:01 left on a pass from Sanchez. Noah Lopez scored off a pass from Pierce with 24:12 left and Pierce picked up his hat trick when he sailed one over Kalen, who had came far out of the goal, off Blandon’s second assist.
“Maloney has a lot of skill up and down the field,” Harder said. “You can’t make mistakes against them and we did. We gave them scoring chances and we got beat on communication and hustle and that can’t happen.
“We have to play a full 80 minutes, but we’ve got heady players and we’ll get there. We’ll bounce back.”
Kalen had five saves for the Blue Dragons.
MHS is home Friday at 3:45 p.m. with Northwest Catholic.