GROTON — Inclement weather can often be an equalizer in high school sports, but that wasn’t the occasion on Saturday morning when the highly regarded Groton-Dunstable boys soccer team rolled to a 7-0 win over overmatched Tahanto. The Crusaders proved they can play on an off track as the game was played in conditions from a mist to a steady rain.
“We knew it was slick and our gameplan was to keep firing shots on goal,” said Groton-Dunstable coach Jason Gutzler. “Scoring the three early goals was crucial, and we played well and were able to get a lot of kids good playing time.”
The Crusaders put this one away early, controlling the game from first whistle to last. They held a 10-0 edge in shots on goal in the first half, and 21-2 in the game, making life easy for senior goaltender T.J. Van Riper, who recorded the shutout.
The Crusaders quickly built a 3-0 lead in the first 10 minutes as Derek McCaffrey sandwiched a pair of goals, assisted by Mike Hilbrunner and Nate Pomeroy, around a tally by Kyle Romich, assisted by Tynan MacLeod. Both of McCaffrey’s goals came on shots from about 15 yards out, while Romich finished off a well-placed cross by MacLeod by heading the ball past Tahanto goaltender Tyler Auger.
Auger stopped the final six shots he faced in the half and the game remained 3-0 at halftime.
McCaffrey completed his hat trick 3:30 into the second half when he took a pass from Ben Chilcoat on right wing and ripped a left-footed shot into the net.
MacLeod, who finished with two goals and two assists in the game, made it 5-0 after taking a pass from McCaffrey
Groton-Dunstable totally controlled play at midfield and received strong defensive efforts from Richard Pomeroy, Hillbrunner, Brian McCarron and Peter Ellerkamp. Tahanto finally got its first shot on goal in the contest with 20 minutes left when Van Riper denied Matt Goguen with a diving save.
The Crusaders maintained their momentum and finished off the game with goals by Nate Pomeroy and MacLeod.
Pomeroy made it 6-0 when he netted a low shot inside the right post after taking a pass from Ellerkamp in front of the net.
MacLeod capped the scoring when he took a pass from Chilcoat outside the left post and rolled a shot into the net.
The Crusaders improved to 2-0-1 with the victory.
Auger made 14 saves in the game for the Stags.