January 27, 2022

Olympians rout short-handed Groton

GROTON — With the Groton Indians undermanned for Monday’s match, the Marathon Olympians agreed to play 9-on-9 so the Indians players wouldn’t run out of gas too quickly.

The extra space and reduced contact created by the smaller rosters led to some opportunities for the Olympians that might not have otherwise been there, and that helped them blank the Indians 7-0 at Groton Elementary School.

Olympians sophomore Kaiden Cornell had a natural hat trick in the first half, while Braeden Morrison scored two goals and Joe Hulbert and Sam Castellot each had one tally.

Cornell’s first two goals came off rebounds. The first came in the ninth minute off a rebound from a shot from about 30 yards out, and the second came in the 24th minute when he was able to put back a shot stopped by Indians goalie Lucas Darling (15 saves).

Cornell finished off his hat trick in the 28th minute after receiving a pass at the top of the box and getting Darling to commit before finishing at a tough angle.

“Kaiden played great,” Olympians coach Chip Stewart said. “He’s young, he’s getting there, and hopefully by the time he’s a senior he’ll be doing some good things here.”

Morrison’s goals came in the 29th minute off a nice spin move in the box and in the 63rd minute as part of a counterattack after the Olympians picked off a Groton pass.

Hulbert scored in the 44th minute, and Castellot wrapped up the scoring in the 73rd minute after handling a bouncing ball directly in front of Darling off the last of Marathon’s six corner kicks.

Trent Ensign made three saves in net for the Olympians. Darling’s play earned praise from Stewart.

Two of the most visible keys to the Olympians’ victory were their ability to anticipate Groton passes and cutting off the passing lanes, and by constantly communicating with each other on the field. The Marathon players were essentially coaching each other, and that’s something Stewart says they’ll need to do throughout the season, especially the seniors Hulbert, Ensign and Evan Larrabee.

“We preach communication,” Stewart said. “The team’s got to understand, this is the first time we’e been playing with gras underneath our feet. We’ve been playing inside… and we’re young. We lost a lot of talent. We had a lot of freshmen and sophomores playing a lot of minutes. But our upperclassmen are pretty good.”

Marathon’s next game is at 5:30 p.m. today when they host Union Springs. Groton also plays Union Springs in their next game at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

GIRLS SOCCER

Dryden 4, McGraw 0

Alex Brotherton scored two goals in the first half, and Ally Deeley and Nicole Morrow each had a score in the Lions’ victory. Hallie Allport (three saves) and Claudia Bachner (two saves) split the goalkeeping duties and registered a clean sheet.

“It was great to be playing soccer again in 60-degree weather,” Dryden coach Neal McDowell said. “The ball moved super quick on the turf. McGraw came at us hard right out of the gate, but we were able to weather the storm for 15 minutes or so and then we started attacking as a team much better and getting more and more opportunities.”

The Lions used the second half to get lots of substitutions in, as they have three games this in five days this week, with their next game at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at Lansing.

Groton 4, Marathon 0

Four different players scored for Groton in the shutout victory — Madison Schooley, Sophia Bell, Natalia Bell and Mattison Lucey.

Goalie Elisa Allen stopped all four Marathon shots for the clean sheet.