LYNN — Sometimes a solid start out of the gate is all you need to earn a win. The English boys soccer team scored three goals 17 minutes into Monday evening’s game against Saugus and that was all the Bulldogs needed for a 4-1 win at Manning Field.
“We’ve been passing the ball really well, we just haven’t been able to finish in the last third,” English coach Kerry King said. “Today kind of clicked. We’ve been working hard in practice. The kids played a lot of close games the past few weeks and today just finally clicked.”
For English, Julio Cora scored two goals. Yahir Hernandez and Yonel Espinoza each scored one goal. Goalie Cherubin Musangu made four saves.
“It was a good win,” King said. “I know Saugus is having a very successful year but I think if we played our game and played possession. Fortunately we were able to finish today.”
Ryan Pugh scored the lone goal for the Sachems. Goalie Juan Lopez made eight saves.
The Bulldogs wasted no time setting the tone early. English took advantage of a sleepy Saugus defense with a swift attack, scoring twice within a three-minute span to claim a 2-0 lead. First it was Hernandez who found the back of the net with 37:13 remaining in the half. Then it was Espinoza, who scored with 35:52 on the clock to give the Bulldogs the early two-goal lead.
Cora raced his way up the field and fired a shot into the back of the net with 23:50 remaining and the Bulldogs led 3-0 at the midway break.
One coach was pleased with the game’s start.
“We’ve had trouble scoring the first goal,” King said. “After we scored the first goal, we played with a lot of confidence and I think it just propelled us to score those three goals. I think that’s the key.”
The other wasn’t.
“We came out flat and gave up three goals easily,” Saugus coach Larry Bolduc said. “Possession wise, we did really well in the midfield keeping the ball and working it around but we couldn’t get going in the final third.”
English kept its aggressive attack in the second half. Cora found himself with a one-on-one look at Lopez in net seven minutes into the period. Lopez made the save to keep Saugus in a 3-0 deficit. A stout Bulldogs defense kept the Sachems off the scoreboard until Pugh scored from 15 yards out with 11:19 left in the game. Cora’s late empty-netter in the final minutes closed the 4-1 win.
“Gaspard (Jean) did a great job coming up from the back, joining the attack and Jonathan (Rodrigues), Jhonatta (Almeida) and (Ryan) Pugh were always finding connections with each other. We just started out too slow and they got the better of us.”
Saugus (6-3) hosts Classical Wednesday afternoon (4). English (3-6-1) hosts Everett Wednesday evening (5:30). The Bulldogs and Crimson Tide played to a scoreless tie the first time they played one another.