SAUGUS — The Saugus boys soccer team put together an impressive performance in all phases of the game in order to earn a 3-0 win over Amesbury Tuesday afternoon at Anna Park Field.
The Sachems rebounded after a disappointing 2-1 loss Monday against Latin Academy where defensive mistakes came back to haunt them.
“I had a really good feeling about (Tuesday), I knew the guys would step up,” Sachems coach Larry Bolduc said. “I gave them a speech about bouncing back from a tough loss (Wednesday) and they did a great job.
“I switched the formation around and it worked really well,” Bolduc added. “We just played a traditional style, 4-4-2, and it just really worked. We condensed the mid-field and we basically controlled the center of the pitch. When we have that we are going to get guys open.”
Ryan Pugh led the way with two goals for Saugus. Jhonatta Almeida also scored a goal while Jonathan Rodrigues added one assist.
“Smart and simple is what we’re trying to do here,” Bolduc said. “The defense did a great job today. Our midfielders controlled the pace of the game and we were finding our forwards.”
Saugus jumped out to a lead midway through the first half. Pugh pressured an Amesbury defender in the box, stole possession of the ball and then ripped a shot to give the Sachems a 1-0 lead.
Amesbury’s best offensive chance of the day came soon after, when a shot rang off the right post before Saugus goaltender Juan Lopez could gain possession.
Later in the first half, Rodrigues showed off his playmaking abilities, shaking off several Amesbury defenders before finding a wide open Almeida in front of the net to put Saugus up 2-0 before the end of the half.
“Even though Jonathan didn’t score and missed a few shots, he’s showing me his explosiveness like he did last year in the final third and getting into the box,” Bolduc said. “As long as he is connecting well with Jhonatta they are a very good 1-2 punch at forward for us.”
In the second half Saugus controlled the pace of play, moving the ball well and playing great defensively to silence any attempts at an Amesbury comeback.
Pugh added his second goal of the game, capitalizing on an opening through the Amesbury defense, to put the game out of reach at 3-0.
With the win the Sachems improve to 2-2 on the season. Next up, Saugus will face off against Classical Thursday night (7:15) in a Northeastern Conference battle at Manning Field.
Bolduc said he hopes to see Saugus bring a high level of intensity to Thursday’s game.
“I know Lynn teams are gritty and play tough,” Bolduc said. “I haven’t seen Classical play in a while but I know they’re going to bring it. We just have to make sure we bring the same amount of intensity that we have the last couple of games.
“Its hard going three games in four days,” Bolduc added. “But I expect us to perform right from the get go, play hard right from the first half, defend behind the ball, win possessions and go forward and counter.”