Mills takes BL title with 6-1 win over Nonnewaug.
BURLINGTON: When your 15-0 and have outscored your opponents by a 104-6 margin, how battle tested are you?
While that might sound like a strange question, after all what team wouldn’t want to be knocking off foes by an average of six-plus goals per game?
On Friday night at a frigid Nassahegan Field, the Lewis Mills Spartans girls soccer team wrapped up yet another Berkshire League regular season title (3 of last 4) with a 6-1 win over second place Nonnewaug in a game that was somewhat close after one half.
Think about it. Soccer is a 2-1, 3-2 kind of game on most fronts but not when it comes to a program like Mills where the toughest competition these kid may face comes from their time on a travel team that roams the states after or before the school year.
Against the Chief’s, the home team dominated play in the visitors end for much of the first half and got on the board in under five minutes when All-World striker Bailey Pace broke free and slammed home one of three goals on the night for a 1-0 lead.
Nonnewaug, now 12-3, is a good team with weapons of their own and a defense that bent but didn’t break in the first half.
Sure, goalie Megan Mitchell stood on her head for a few of her eight first half saves, several of the spectacular variety.
Mills went up 2-0 with just over four minutes to play in the half on a nice pass from senior Alison Hannon to fellow upperclassmen Julia Pearson but Nonnewaug struck back faster than all the reporters on the sidelines could figure out the time and assist on the last goal.
Freshman Christina Sordi, a strong and fast forward, broke in two passes after the restart and blasted a shot past Mills goalie Taylor Anderson and just like that we had a game.
Totally outplayed, the Chief’s found themselves down just a goal as the teams went to the break.
But alas, they had to play another half.
Mills went up 3-1 on a goal by Mackenzie Bergstrom off a pass from Pace with 31:29 to go in the second half and 13-miuntes later Mallory Buys made a great run down the right side, made the hard left in towards goal and blasted a shot off Mitchell for the score.
The Pace show was up next and the senior forward showed just why she is so dangerous, a double edged sword of a player.
With 16:14 to play Pace took a ball at the top of the key off a scrum and blasted an absolute rocket past Mitchel for a 5-1 lead.
Her last goal was simply a thing of beauty and skill that only comes from years of playing this game at a very high level.
Marked tightly at the top of the box with no room to wind up while on the dead run, Pace flicked a shot off the right side of her foot into the right side of the goal, just inside the post.
One shot got there in seconds, the other took a few days it seemed but the both worked to perfection, something this team is getting used to.
How about that concern for about a lack of competitive soccer so far this year?
No out of league matches were played, although the Spartans will scrimmage against Farmington over the next week.
“This was the toughest game we played this year and the score was 6-1,” head Coach Jason Stock said. “It’s hard to go from a low level of competition to a very high one in the post season. We were happy to finish against Nonnewaug and Litchfield (last game) so the skill level was good.”
To say this is a senior laden team would be an understatement, the fence behind the goal was filled with twelve numbers, at least a case of hot cups.
This group has a bar that is set very, very high. A semi-final appearance may not be enough to stamp this team as one of the all-time best at Mills.
They may need to be one of the last two teams standing in order to validate that 104-6 number.