CARROLL –After losing 12 seniors from 2012, Brian Griffin expected his season-opening game against Bloom-Carroll to be a challenge.
He just didn’t realize how tough it would be.
The Bulldogs scored less than two minutes into the game and nine times in the first half en route to an 11-0 win Tuesday against the Golden Gales.
“We resorted back to a younger style of play,” Griffin said. “Truthfully, I didn’t see that coming.”
Kennedy Jackson scored four goals for Bloom-Carroll, and Alexis McKenzie also had a hat trick. The Bulldogs (1-0) were leading 4-0 before Jackson scored three times in four minutes toward the end of the first half.
McKenzie notched her third goal of the game with 6:09 to play in the half, and Shannan McCracken scored four minutes later to send the Bulldogs into halftime with a 9-0 lead.
“We kind of wanted to go in with a little chip on our shoulder,” Bulldogs coach Mark Casperson said. “We got off to a slow start in our last scrimmage. So that was our focus to get off to a fast start. We played very good soccer tonight and we’re happy with that.”
The Bulldogs’ forwards got behind the Lancaster defense with ease. Although Gales goalie Brittany Wolfe had some success in stopping shots, Bloom-Carroll had repeated breakaway opportunities.
That number of chances could have been even higher if not for five offsides calls against Bloom-Carroll.
“We switched to a new formation on defense,” Griffin said. “We’re still getting used to it. It just takes time, and it will take time.”
Jackson scored her fourth goal nine minutes into the second half. Freshman Ellyse McKenzie scored the final tally with 27:32 to play. She had two goals, and Catherine Fisher accounted for the Bulldogs’ other score.
Casperson emptied his bench for most of the second half as the score remained lopsided. The game ended with about 10 minutes to play because of lightning.
“We spent a lot of time working on the attack,” Casperson said. “That’s getting the ball in behind the defense. Make them face their own goal. We actually work on that in practice. It was very good to see them out there (doing that).”
Both teams lost key players from 2011, when the Bulldogs beat Lancaster in a tight 2-1 game. But the Gales (0-1), who started five freshmen, showed their inexperience Tuesday.
The important part going forward, Griffin said, is to not let one blowout loss spoil an entire season that just began.
“This gives us a start or a gauge of where we can go from here,” Griffin said. “I told the girls they have to stay positive. They gotta have each other’s back and stay positive on the field.”
The Bulldogs, meanwhile, looked crisp. Casperson said improved timing will help eliminate offsides violations, but his team got off to a great start.