NEWINGTON - The Newington boys soccer team brought an offensive onslaught in the first half of its match against Maloney on Tuesday afternoon, and it turned out to be all it needed.
Newington scored four goals in the first half en route to a 4-0 win to improve its record to 2-1 in the 2020 season. Newington rifled off its first three goals in the opening 12 minutes of play led by two from senior Diogo Caetano.
“One of our keys [to the game] was to come with a good attitude and come with a fast start, look to play quick,” Newington head coach Jeff Brunetti said. “We kind of started slow against Wethersfield last game, so we wanted to shift our mindset, shift our mentality a little bit. You don’t expect to come out that quick of a start, but the first two minutes of the game we got a ball in, the ball was played into the box. We had good combination play, one of our players laid it off to a player with his back to goal, Diogo Caetano buried the goal.”
Newington dominated possession before halftime, controlling the ball with smart decisions and good passing. Every time Maloney pushed the ball towards Newington’s goal, its defense was able to recover quickly and the ball was back moving in the other direction and Newington’s organization and communication on offense created quality scoring opportunities. Mannasah Dalomba found the back of the net in between Caetano’s scores off of one of Christian Amaral’s two assists on the day.
“[We were] moving the ball well, getting into good positions, getting into good gaps,” Brunetti said. “We were looking for quick play, we got our midfielders involved in the game early, had great combination play up front and attacking towards goal to give ourselves some chances in the first half and put them away. We were able to move the ball really well and some really good decision making.”
After showing off his distribution skills early in the half, Amaral capped off Newington’s scoring with its fourth goal with an assist coming from Nate Santos who nearly scored a minute before. Brunetti was excited to see the scoring outburst from his players after a 5-2 loss to Wethersfield in Newington’s previous matchup.
“I think it gives the guys confidence, getting out to an early lead,” Brunetti said. “Especially coming off of a loss where we had given up five goals, I keep telling this group of guys that they’re very talented, you just have to limit the mistakes. So it puts them at ease, it gives them more confidence. When you score goals and you bury those opportunities, people get excited about the goals, they’re confident in each other, they’ll play better passes. You can’t come out slow or else you’ll get taken advantage of sometimes.”
There was far less action in the second half as neither team was able to score, but Maloney made adjustments and began to control possession and create more scoring chances. With a comfortable lead, Newington did not need to press as hard offensively.
“I don’t know if it was [our] mentality, Maloney came out very strong in the second half,” Brunetti said. “I give them credit for coming out strong, changing their approach, closing us down quicker. I was trying players in different areas so it was nothing that we did that changed the game. They came out really strong. In the second half, they had about five corner kicks to our maybe one or two so they were pressing, looking to get that goal.”
Newington will be on the road Thursday for its next match when it faces Rocky Hill at 6 p.m.
Matt Hornick can be reached at (860) 973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org
NEWINGTON 4, MALONEY 0
Goals: Diogo Caetano (N) 2, Mannasah Dalomba (N), Christian Amaral (N).
Assists: Mannasah Dalomba (N), Christian Amaral (N) 2, Nate Santos (N).
Saves: Xander Ford (N) 9, Devin Juan (M) 9, Alejandro Garcia (M) 1.
Records: Newington 2-1, Maloney 1-2.