MONMOUTH — Two games into the season, Kasey Smith and the Monmouth Mustangs have yet to allow a crooked number on the opponent’s side of the scoreboard.

“It’s always nice to get a shutout,” Smith said.

Smith and Monmouth had to hold off a dogged second-half effort by Lisbon to get its second shutout on the young season, 2-0, on Tuesday.

Kyle Fletcher assisted on Josh Reny’s first-half goal, then added the insurance tally late in the second half.

“The biggest thing when a team comes out like (Lisbon did in the second half) is to stay calm and know that if we play possession, they won’t have the ball as much. I think that was one of the big things,” Fletcher said.

“We’re not deep at all,” said Monmouth coach Joe Fletcher, Kyle’s father. “We have three subs and three players that aren’t ready for varsity soccer. They give us minutes. I think the key was, we controlled the ball when we could. We’ve worked extremely hard on moving together and not allowing separation.”

Monmouth (2-0) threatened to get some separation early in the first half when Reny had an open net after Lisbon keeper Nate Bergeron dove to deflect — but couldn’t control — his shot from about 15 yards out. Lisbon freshmen Josh Huston, Riley Austin and Kyle Welch were able to plug the hole when Reny tried to follow his shot.

“The freshmen I had out there today, I’m throwing them into the fire,” Lisbon coach Dan Sylvester said. “(Sophomore) Jake Angelico did a great job marking Fletcher today. The young guys are stepping up and pulling their weight right now.”

The savviest senior couldn’t have done much to prevent Monmouth’s first goal. Fletcher dribbled up the right sideline to the corner, waited for Reny to spot-up and delivered a perfect pass that Reny one-timed into the left corner with exactly 13 minutes left in the half.

“We’ve been taught all year to get to the PK line when I have the ball in the corner,” Fletcher said. “Josh Reny made a perfect run right where he needed to be and I just put it right there.”

The Greyhounds (0-1) threatened to tie it throughout the first 20 minutes of the second half but, playing their first game of the season, seemed just a tad off in their timing and execution.

Dillon Clifford had an angle on Smith but his kick went wide right. Mike Demarest out-raced his defender to a lead pass but was just a split second behind a hard-charging Smith to the ball.  Kyle Whitman missed just to the right off a nice feed from Angelico.

“That first bye week hurts a little bit,” Sylvester said. “We had opportunities in the first half, I thought. It’s just finishing, just like in the second half. We had the opportunities, did the right things. We’ve just got to put the ball in the back of the net.”

“We had to stay in front of them and cut down the angles,” Smith said. “You’re between them and the goal, they can’t put it in the goal.”

Fletcher provided some breathing room with precisely nine minutes left.

“It was a good pass by Mason Clement. I got a breakaway and just finished,” Kyle Fletcher said.

“I think we can play better,” he added. “It’s a perfect start, 2-0 without giving up a goal is awesome but I think our expectations are higher. We’ll play better.”


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