Bartlett didn’t allow a costly mistake in the opening two minutes haunt them Tuesday night as the Hawks rallied for a 5-1 Upstate Eight Conference Valley victory over host East Aurora.
Lizberth Cuanetl pounded on a shanked clearing attempt for an easy eight-yarder into the right side of the net just 1:59 into the first half to give East Aurora (1-2, 0-1) a 1-0 lead.
“Mistakes will happen but we’ve been preaching that if you play the game right, you’ll get the looks and shots to make goals happen and that’s what we did,” Bartlett coach Ben Beary said.
East Aurora goalkeeper Ruby Garcia made several early stops, but was unable to thwart a seven-yarder inside the left post at 19:03 from Haley Coor following a strong throw-in by Mariah Martinez. The Hawks also kept up the pressure despite having a goal wiped away by an offside violation.
With 6:03 left before halftime, Shaelen Kaiser’s pass became an 11-yarder from the right side for Coor.
“On the first goal I was just trying to beat their two defenders to the ball and one-touched it,” Coor noted. “I was so excited to get my first goal, and the second was just as satisfying.”
An East Aurora breakaway in the opening minute of the second half could have made things interesting, but Cuanetl’s shot went just outside the right post.
With 22:03 remaining, Martinez earned another assist by feeding Kendra Videckis, who dribbled past a defender and drilled a 14-yarder from the right.
“As an outside midfielder, it’s my job to get the ball to the forwards so I just try to keep my head up to see where my teammates are and look for the best opportunity,” Martinez said. “Assists occur off goals, so I’m happy to contribute any way I can.”
Shelly Lyjak used a Jenna Noesen feed for a goal with 8:26 to play and Videckis also took a feed from Noesen to angle home an 11-yarder from the right side. That second strike boosted the senior captain’s team-highs for goals to four and points to nine.
“Mariah had a great game and even beyond her assists, she does a lot of things that may not show up on a stat sheet,” Beary said. “Her quickness is the cause of a lot of the kind of havoc up top that creates goals.”
Bartlett (5-2-1, 1-1) certainly had the opportunities, enjoying a 26-6 edge in shots and a 16-3 advantage in shots on goal.
“Our keeper (Garcia) was certainly busy and we can’t fault her or even our defense. The problem was we can’t simply defend for 80 minutes,” East Aurora coach Javier Hernandez said. “You simply can’t win without shots on goal even if you pass well and defend well. We didn’t have a single shot on goal in the second half.”