By Ben Kaufmann
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MILTON – Milton’s offense powered into the 2019 season with a dominant performance, striking four times in each half en route to an 8-0 win over BFA-Fairfax on Thursday night.
Sophomores Cooper Goodrich and Zack Logan each notched two goals and an assist for the Yellowjackets (1-0), who were in control from start to finish against the visiting Bullets (0-1).
“We’ve had a really good preseason,” said Milton coach Glen Button, “We’ve had some good matches and been able to finish, and it carried over into tonight, no doubt.”
Milton’s youth -the Yellowjackets feature eight sophomores and just four seniors- was no handicap in the season opener. The hosts took a 1-0 lead on a Caden Button goal just under 12 minutes in, then saw goals from Goodrich and Nick Desouza 30 seconds apart to storm to a 3-0 lead with 10 minutes left in the first half. Logan took a pass from Zac St. Amour inside the box two minutes later and ripped a shot down off the crossbar to put the Yellowjackets up 4-0 at halftime.
First-year Fairfax coach Jake Hubbard knew his team was in for a battle against Milton.
“You watch the possessions they have, whether it’s his top 11 or the five or six guys on the bench, they can all make a splash,” Hubbard said. “Going into this game, we had a talk, and we wanted to play defensively and hold it as long as we could. When you get into games and give up a goal, you’ve got to try to play a little offense to create something.”
Logan scored again just 6:27 into the second half and assisted a St. Amour goal a little over a minute later in making it a 6-0 game. Chance Rose added a goal with just under a half-hour to play and Goodrich closed the scoring with a stunner of a shot into the upper-90 with 24:21 to go. Desouza assisted the first and last goals of the second half to go with his earlier goal. Ryan Cannon and Manolis Anemeikos added first-half assists to the well-rounded Milton effort.
Button said he saw plenty of strength in Fairfax, which he noted suffered from some unlucky bounces throughout Thursday’s contest.
“I think he’s got some really good athletes and they worked hard right until the end,” Button said of the Bullets. “They had a couple of unlucky shots go in, but they battled until the end.”
Asked if he was worried about the lopsided scoreline causing early-season complacency, Button said he has full faith in his team’s ability to stay grounded.
“I don’t think so. These guys have played so much soccer, we’ve got soccer players at every position, and they just feed off each other. So I’m not worried in the least.”
Likewise, Hubbard was unconcerned with the final result when thinking about the big picture and the long season ahead for BFA.
“We’re all positive here, we’re not going to take the negatives. I’m excited,” said Hubbard, noting that his Division III Bullets were opening the year with a tough test against Division II Milton. “We’re going to settle into our schedule and be just fine.”
Button echoed that calmness about BFA, “I think Fairfax is going to be a good team, I think they’re going to win some games this year,” he said. “Our guys are composed on the ball, they knocked it around pretty well, and we’ve got some guys that can finish.”
Robert Dearborn made eight saves for BFA, which is back in action at Hazen on Wednesday.
Braeden Caragher and Sam Dooley split the shutout in goal for Milton. The Yellowjackets face a tough test on Saturday, September 7th, with a trip to Hartford on tap.