FARMINGDALE — A 103-4 goal differential says a lot of things about a soccer team such as Hall-Dale, including how quickly it can turn a 1-0 lead into a 3-0 lead and a 3-0 lead into a 6-0 blowout.

Lisbon knows this as well as any of the Bulldogs’ Mountain Valley Conference foes, and during Wednesday’s Western C boys’ quarterfinal, the Greyhounds gave all they had to keep Hall-Dale from getting on the kind of roll that has left many foes in the dust this season.

Top-seeded Hall-Dale scored twice in the final 2:12 of the first half to take send No. 8 Lisbon into intermission with a deflating 3-0 deficit, then pulled away quickly in the second half for an 7-0 victory.

The Bulldogs (14-0-1) will host No. 5 Mt. Abram in the semifinals at 2:30 p.m. on Friday.

Colin Lush had a hat trick in the second half for the Bulldogs. Nat Crocker, Steven Longfellow, Spencer Shagoury and Noah Smith chipped in with a goal apiece while goalie Sam Shepherd stopped six shots to secure the Bulldogs’ 12th shutout of the season.

“They kept us back for a while there in the first half,” Lush said. “We tend to start out slow in the first half. We’re more of a second half team. But we kick it into gear once we get everything going, start talking and start moving better off the ball.”

The Greyhounds (5-9-1) kept the Bulldogs off  the scoreboard for the first 18-plus minutes of the game thanks to some timely defense and excellent goalkeeping by freshman Nate Bergeron.

Senior defender Elliot Manocal stopped a Bulldog bid for the top corner with a header 14 minutes in. Bergeron (10 saves) denied Crocker with a leaping grab 45 seconds  later, then stoned Jonathan McNaughton with a diving stop to maintain the scoreless tie.

“We tried to plan for their speed,” Lisbon coach Dan Sylvester said. “Their depth and their skill is a lot deeper than ours. We were just trying to contain the ball and keep ourselves moving. They got their opportunities, but I thought we did what we were supposed to do.”

“I thought Lisbon did a real good job in the first 20 minutes covering the lanes. They were just very sound defensively,” said Hall-Dale coach Andy Haskell, whose team beat Lisbon 8-0 on Sep. 6. “They took away a lot of our ability to be creative in the attacking third and that’s because they were well-prepared.”

With all of its attention focused on its own end, Lisbon rarely tilted the field to its attacking end, failing to get a shot off until a little more than eight minutes remained in the half. Hall-Dale, which held a 19-3 shot advantage in the half, was bound to break down the defense eventually.

Crocker finally did just that with a low skidder to the right of a diving Bergeron to make it 1-0 at 21:33.

Lisbon’s hopes of keeping it a one-goal deficit at halftime slipped away when Crocker set up Longfellow for a boot to the far post with 2:12 left in the half.

“The key was we put Steve Longfellow in, who’s kind of a tough kid, and he got the second goal,” Haskell said. “Once we got the second goal, we made a push in the last 45 seconds and we were able to get that third goal.”

The third goal, a bouncer by Shagoury to nearly the same spot as Longfellow’s, came with 7.3 seconds left.

“That kind of spoiled the whole thing,” Sylvester said. “We were looking for that 1-0 half and come out in that second half. But those last two goals took the wind out of our sails a little bit.”

Lush wasted little time keeping momentum on Hall-Dale’s side for the second half, scoring his first goal 2:06 in. Eight minutes later, he went high over the defense for a header off a feed from Zach Plummer and to the left of Bergeron.

“I’m one of the tallest kids out there, so I kind of have an advantage,” said the 6-foot-2 Lush. “I try and shadow people in the box and look for those headers. Zach plays in the middle with me (and) we look for those a lot. That was one in a million.”


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