GROTON — The Groton-Dunstable girls soccer team got their season off to a flying start with a convincing 9-1 victory over St. Bernard. The Lady Crusaders built a 3-0 lead, saw the Bernardians sliced the lead to two, before pulling away with six unanswered goals in the second half.
Heather Moody led the way with three goals and two assists, followed by Sarah Hilton and Corinne Kraemer with two goals and an assist each. Cassandra Dinkel had a goal and an assist, Krysta Rekos a goal, while Meaghan Freiter added an assist.
‘The girls have worked hard throughout the preseason,” said Groton-Dunstable coach Sue Hillbrunner. “That hard work allowed us to look organized in the game today. Everyone was able to get some good playing time today.”
The Lady Crusaders wasted little time in establishing control, scoring two goals over the first 3:30 of the game.
Moody broke the ice at 1:34, taking a pass from Hilton outside the right post and ripping a perfect shot into the upper right corner of the net.
The pair reversed roles on the second goal at 3:30. Moody threaded a pass in front of the net to an open Hilton, who rolled a short shot into the net to make it 2-0.
Groton-Dunstable did a nice job of controlling the middle of the field, but when St. Bernard was able to mount scoring chances, they were diffused by solid work by the Lady Crusaders defensive corps of Jess O’Brien, Rachel Silveria, Abbie Stark and Kayla Meijer.
The Lady Crusaders padded the lead to 3-0 at 21 minutes on another nice combination play, Kraemer passing in front to wide open Rekos, who netted a shot from close range.
St. Bernard got on the board at 25:25 when Shelby Pelletier scored after taking a pass from Savannah Gates.
That score remained intact, thanks to some quality saves by Bernardians’ goaltender Aline Lepine, including robbing Hilton from point blank range after the Groton-Dunstable forward broke in alone.
Groton-Dunstable owned an 11-6 edge in shots on goal over the first 40 minutes.
The second half featured total domination by the Lady Crusaders, who didn’t allow a St. Bernard’s shot on goal for the first 38 minutes. During that span, Groton-Dunstable showed pin-point accuracy as they put the game away, netting six of their nine shots on goal.
Moody completed her hat trick early in the second half, sandwiching a pair of goals around a tally by Kraemer, which extended the lead to 6-1. Both of Moody’s goals came on breakaway, with Dinkel and Freiter springing her loose with clever passes.
Dinkel scored a pretty goal at 22 minutes, deking a St. Bernard’s defender to clear shooting room before rolling a left-footed shot into the net.
Kraemer made it 8-1 at 28 minutes after Moody made a long run down the left sideline and made a pass in front of the net.
Hilton capped the scoring at 31 minutes when she sent a perfect chip from right wing over Lepine and into the net.
Groton-Dunstable goaltender Olivia Briggs made six saves in the game, while Lepine stopped 11 shots for the Bernardians. Meredith Shea turned in a strong all-around effort at midfield for the Lady Crusaders with her hustle and energy.