EAST HAMPTON >> The East Hampton boys soccer team was hungry for goals Tuesday afternoon and that proved to be too much for a depleted Coginchaug squad as the Bellringers spread out three scores to defeat the Blue Devils, 3-1, at East Hampton High School.
“We knew it was going to be a close game, we thought it was going to be hard and our team prevailed,” said East Hampton senior captain Kyle Atwood.
The Shoreline Conference teams seemed almost even on paper and were very close in time of possession. But when it came to attacking and scoring, East Hampton held a dominant edge.
Both sides came out fast, garnering a few shots on goal, but the Bellringers struck first when Josh Chasseau found Greg Pratt in the middle about eight yards out and Pratt found the back of the net 14 minutes and nine seconds into the game.
The Blue Devils (4-3-1) let a couple of scoring chances slip away as halftime approached.
With 5:13 left in the first Jason Covaciu beat his defender to the left and slipped a shot past Coginchaug backup goalkeeper Dan Gavrilovic (11 saves) to give the Bellringers a 2-0 lead heading into the break.
Just before the midway point of the second half, Coginchaug coach Chris Cap called on freshman Jeremy Orozco to enter the game and Orozco scored a few minutes later. The ball flew into the box and bounced around before Orozcvo knocked it past goalie Austin Tierney (8 saves) to cut the deficit in half. It was Orozco’s first career varsity goal.
“This game gave all the freshmen and underclassmen a lot of confidence,” said Cap, whose team was missing five starters. “It was a good game to bring them up in.”
The speed of East Hampton forward Nick Costa on the outside was finally showcased about three minutes later. The senior took the space in front of him down the right sideline into the corner before finding Atwood, who beat his defender for a 3-1 lead.
“It was a team effort,” said Atwood. “Coach always says, ‘Keep composed and find the corners,’ so I found the corner.”
The Blue Devils tried to attack the box as time was winding down, but couldn’t get close as the East Hampton defense kept clearing the ball away.
“We couldn’t be dangerous in our final third, I think that’s what really hurt us, not having that experienced striker up top to put some pressure on them,” said Cap.
This is East Hampton’s second straight victory, while Coginchaug has dropped three in a row.
Cap used this game to get some experience for the underclassmen and according to him, things look promising.
“I think we matched up well against them – it’s a big confidence booster for the future,” said Cap.
East Hampton (4-2-1) may be finding its stride through the middle part of the season. The Bellringers have scored six goals in their last two games while allowing only two.
“I’d say if we keep playing like this, we’ll beat a lot of teams,” said Atwood.