Boys soccer: Bears take control in second half, blank Bulldogs at Piver Cup tournament

Boys soccer: Bears take control in second half, blank Bulldogs at Piver Cup tournament

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STONINGTON — The Westerly and Stonington High boys soccer teams are in different stages of development.

The Bulldogs, coming off a four-win season, are rebuilding. They are young — just two seniors on the roster —and inexperienced at the varsity level, but the future looks bright.

The Bears, meanwhile, are in reload mode. They went 19-1-1 and won the ECC championship last year, and while they graduated 10 seniors, they have eight back who help form a talented nucleus. They also added a freshman who starts at forward.

So Saturday’s result in the first round of the Piver Cup tournament was no surprise: Stonington 3, Westerly 0 in a game played in steady, mostly light rain at Palmer Field.

Tyler Fidrych had two goals and one assist, Jameson Magowan had a highlight-reel goal and freshman forward Sam Montalto had two assists for Stonington (2-0).

“It’s just the beginning,” Fidrych said. “It’s a whole new team after losing all the seniors. There’s a lot of good chemistry, though, and incoming freshman boosting everyone.

“Everyone’s just giving their best as of right now to match last year. We’re not looking back at last year, but we know what we can accomplish, and we’re trying to do our best to get there.”

So far, so good for the Bears, who won for the second time in as many days (they beat Woodstock Academy 1-0 on Friday).

Westerly also opened its season on Friday, tying Cranston East, 1-1.

Against Stonington, Westerly had just three shots (the Bears finished with 10), and all three were in the first half.

“We knew they were strong,” Bulldogs coach Brian Williams said. “We’re working on a lot of different things. … Their second goal was great. The first one, we made a mistake, and the last one we made a mistake. It was only little mistakes. At times we did well. We had a couple chances.”

Fidrych opened the scoring about 14 minutes into the game. He took a cross from Montalto and redirected it past Westerly goalie Spencer Bernat.

“It was just Sam doing his thing,” Fidrych said, “takes it out wide, beat a few players, crossed it and the ball was right there for me.”

Magowan made it 2-0 in early in the second half.

Fidrych played a short corner kick to Magowan, who dribbled across the 15-yard line toward the center of the field before rocketing a shot into the upper-right corner. Bernat (six saves) didn’t have a chance.

“Fantastic finish,” Bears coach Paul deCastro said. “He just ripped that into the upper corner. I think the second goal is a big play in the game where it helps us relax a bit.”

Fidrych closed the scoring with 25 minutes left, tapping in a ball that was headed forward by Montalto.

DeCastro said the Bulldogs had him concerned at intermission.

“They had some chances there at the end of the first half. It easily could’ve been 1-1,” he said. “I thought they frustrated us and played well in the first half.”

Samuel Elliot had one of Westerly’s solid chances. He blasted a free kick from about 35 yards out that had to be punched out by Stonington keeper Peter Fernholz. Fernholz (three saves) also stopped Aiden Faubert from point-blank range.

In the second half, it was all Bears.

“You can see, we have some good moments and there’ll be times where we make mistakes,” deCastro said. “We’re just trying to get better. So it’s certainly not perfect and it’s early in the season. We’re just trying to improve every time we practice and play in a game.”

Stonington will host Chariho in the Piver Cup final next Saturday; Westerly will play Fitch in the consolation game. Both teams are back in action on Monday: Stonington at Waterford (6:30 p.m.), and Westerly visits Cranston West (3:30 p.m.).



















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