By MICHAEL LETENDRE
BRISTOL – Who just qualified for state tournament play this past Friday?
It’s the Bristol Eastern girls soccer team and after three straight defeats to open the season and a 0-4-2 ledger through six matches, the Lancers have certainly turned things around.
Health has been a big part of that but improved chemistry has been a key factor and with that outstanding play, those victories have been piling up.
Eastern put together a nice little burst, winning six-of-seven matches to go over .500 for the season.
And on Monday, Oct. 15, the squad’s fourth victory came in the form of a 4-0 blanking of Maloney from Alumni Field in Bristol.
Once again, senior Myah Croze had a multi-goal game, this time scooping up a hat-trick as her three goals led the way while offensive threat Kailey Laprise added a score to complete the effort.
Riley Giblin scratched out a save in the Eastern net as Maloney’s offense didn’t take many shots at the Lancers’ goal.
Eastern did an excellent job in controlling the middle and with that play, the Spartans’ chances were few and far between.
Laprise scored her goal 19 minutes into the first half while Croze notched two of her three scores within a three-minute stretch.
Her second score came with one minute left to play in the first half as the Lancers rolled into halftime with a 3-0 push in hand.
And nine minutes into the second half, Leah Policarpio popped a pass to Croze who jammed her third goal into the net and with that score, Eastern’s 4-0 edge was far too much to come back from.
Two days later, Middletown traveled to Bristol for a CCC South confrontation and while the game was only a one goal lead for Eastern at the half, the home squad was able to squeeze out two additional scores to rack up a 5-2 win.
The victory was significant as Eastern finally got to .500 – edging up a 5-5-2 ledger by the completion of the encounter.
Redman credited Collins and Croze’s play in the middle while the defense clamped down over the second half to keep the visitors from scoring in the second 40.
Laprise and Policarpio nabbed two goals apiece while Audra Porowski dropped one in herself to complete the scoring effort.
The duo of Laprise and Policarpio also added two assists apiece.
Eastern trailed in the match over the first 20 minutes as Middletown’s Tyler Stocking sandwiched two goals around a Laprise score – propelling the Blue Dragons to a 2-1 edge.
But over the last 60 minutes of action, the Lancers scored four straight goals to ice the contest.
Policarpio flipped in the game-tying goal 12 minutes after the final Middletown tally while Audra Porowski produced the eventual game-winner with about four minutes left before the half.
Policarpio added the game-winning assist as Eastern started the week off at 2-0.
And to end the week, Eastern battled East Catholic, coming away with a 4-1 win from home to sweep the week.
Over the first 29 minutes of the game, Policarpio smashed in three goals,
assisted by Kailey Laprise, Ava Gilbert, Mollie Lewis, Myah Croze, and Avery Arbuckle as the Lancers surged to a 3-0 edge.
Seven minutes into the second half, East Catholic’s Kaisa Nolan scored on a free kick but Croze nullified the goal with one of her own ten minutes later – assisted by Ciara Collins – as Eastern led 4-1 and never looked back..
Gilbert made six saves for the Lancers as the program moved to 6-5-2 overall in the winning effort.