Bristol Mustangs Repeat as Indoor Champions
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Written by: John Tyler
Sunday, April 9, 2006
The U-8 Girls Bristol Mustangs completed an undefeated 2005-2006 Indoor soccer season in the Multiplex Indoor Soccer League by winning three playoff games and capturing the Second Session Championship. In all, the Mustangs won 21 straight games and were playoff champions of both sessions.
In the first game, the Mustangs exhibited their trademark team-oriented offense and swarming defense to defeat Portsmouth 9-0. With Samantha Tyler in net and a defense led by Caleigh Duffy, Mikayla Zuckerman and Alex Pires, the Mustangs posted a shutout. On offense, the Mustangs' excellent passing resulted in numerous scoring opportunities and Olivia Cairrao, Alex Pires, Chrissy Conley, Lexi Winnes, Kaitlyn Costa, Carlie Rochefort, and Caleigh Duffy scored.
The second game pitted the Mustangs against a determined Tiverton team. This was their fifth meeting of the Indoor season, including the Finals of the First Session playoffs. After falling behind for the first time of the season 2-1 with about 13 minutes left in the game, Bristol would have to show that it could also come from behind. Goalkeeper Lexi Winnes and a defensive rotation of Mikayla, Caleigh, Alex, Kaitlyn and Chrissy were able to shut down the Tiverton attack. Behind 2-1, Samantha made a nice lead pass to a streaking Chrissy, who put the ball in the net to knot the game at two. After dribbling the ball up the field and drawing defenders to herself, Carlie gave a picture-perfect pass to Kaitlyn, who was able to score the go-ahead goal. Olivia contributed an assist as the balanced Bristol offense pulled away with two more goals to win the game 5-2 and reach the Finals. In the Finals, the Mustangs were matched up against a talented, physical Swansea-Somerset team in front of a raucous crowd. Swansea-Somerset entered the game with a record of 9-1. Bristol scored first on a goal by Chrissy Conley. Swansea-Somerset evened the game at one on a breakaway goal against keeper Samantha Tyler with about 15 minutes to play. Swansea-Somerset later went ahead 2-1 on a tough shot against keeper Lexi Winnes. But, the exhausted Bristol team battled back, again. The strong Bristol defense, led by Caleigh Duffy, Alex Pires and Mikayla Zuckerman, and several outstanding saves by Lexi held Swansea-Somerset scoreless for the rest of the game to keep the score close. Kaitlyn Costa, still recovering from a weeklong illness and Chrissy Conley, overcoming numerous bumps and bruises endured during the game, worked tirelessly on both ends of the field. Finally, Carlie Rochefort, who was suffering from side cramps for most of the game, was able to tie the score at two with less than eight minutes to play. Olivia Cairrao led an offensive charge down the stretch of regulation, but Bristol could not get a shot past the Swansea-Somerset goalie. So, the game entered a five-minute sudden death overtime period with the threat of a shootout if no one scored. With less than 2 minutes left in overtime, Chrissy and Samantha teamed up once again. This time, Chrissy, swarmed by defenders, made a beautiful centering pass to Samantha, who had found an open area just inside the goalie box. Samantha collected the ball and put a firm shot into the left side of the net for the game-winner. While the Mustang players surrounded Samantha in celebration, their fans and coaches erupted with joy, pride and relief. What an ending to a remarkable season!
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