Girls' soccer: Spruce Mountain restrains Mountain Valley

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Spruce Mountain’s Sara Durrell (18) boots the ball past Mountain Valley’s Ellie LeDuc (9) during a Mountain Valley Conference soccer game Thursday afternoon. The Phoenix won, 6-0.

JAY — The Spruce Mountain Phoenix are a possessive bunch who don’t like sharing the soccer ball, but they sure take delight in putting it in net.

The Phoenix (2-1) kept the ball away from a green Mountain Valley team, especially in the second half, before cruising away with a 6-0 victory over the Falcons in a Mountain Valley Conference girls’ soccer game Thursday night.

“We have eight seniors. Eight girls who played four years together so they are doing a good job,” Phoenix coach Bill Acritelli said. “We are playing more of a possession style of soccer. We are not into the boot ball.

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“We want to control what we can possibly control on the field and make it our game. Scoring six goals in a game, I don’t think they have done that before so I think they are pretty excited.”

The Falcons seemed to have the upper hand in the first half, even though Spruce’s Allison Acritelli scored her first of three goals 21 seconds into this Class B South matchup. Jaycee Cole picked up the assist on Acritelli’s shot.

But don’t look for Bill Acritelli to point the finger at any one player for the Phoenix’s success under the lights.

“I don’t single out anybody. We win as a team; we lose as a team,” the Spruce Mountain coach said. “They all did a great job together. So no, I won’t single anybody out. They all did a fantastic job.”

The stunned Falcons shook it off quickly and kept pressing to score a goal.

That never happened.

The Phoenix went on to dominate the ball and that led to a handful of scoring opportunities.

Hanna St. Pierre scored her first of two goals, unassisted, with 11:34 remaining in the first half, and Rylee Bubier punched in another unassisted goal to give Phoenix a comfortable 3-0 lead.

The second half belonged to Spruce Mountain, which dropped in three more goals against the Falcons, who are experiencing growing pains after an exodus of senior veterans to graduation.

“We moved the ball really well, especially in the first half,” Mountain Valley coach Jeff Pelletier said. “We got some glimpses of offense.

“Our whole offense was our senior class. We are rebuilding. We have a lot of first-year players. We have a lot of our defense returning. We lost a lot of our offense.

“They (Phoenix) are fast, they are fast. We made defensive mistakes … and they took advantage. Their shots were on target and we had a hard time keeping up with them.”

The Phoenix opened up on the struggling Falcons in the second half.

Acritelli scored her second goal on a direct kick and she dropped in her third on an Emily Baker assist. In between Acritelli’s goals, St. Pierre slipped in her second goal on a Calley Baker assist.

The ball gets past Mountain Valley goalie Lauren Sterling and heads into the goal during a Mountain Valley Conference soccer game Thursday afternoon. The Phoenix won, 6-0.

Spruce Mountain’s Hanna St. Pierre knocks the ball down as teammate Alexa Harmatys (10) watches during a Mountain Valley Conference soccer game Thursday afternoon. The Phoenix won, 6-0.

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