After 27 minutes of back and forth play Tuesday, Fairfield Union and Lakewood sat locked in a scoreless tie. But as the Lancers tired, the Falcons opened the flood gates.
“We just went flat and couldn’t get our rhythm back,” Lakewood coach Mark Walburn said. “Once you lose the rhythm you can’t get it back.”
Fairfield Union (4-2) scored three times in more than five minutes to race out in front at halftime. The relentless scoring continued after the break, propelling the Falcons to a 6-0 victory against the Lancers (1-3-1).
With 12:14 left in the first half, Colin Groce got behind the Lakewood (1-3-1) defense to run down a through ball from John Schmelzer and start the scoring. Less than three minutes later, Ben Hultz found himself alone in front of the goalie and scored. The blitz ended when Josh Hicks notched a goal of his own with 7:13 left in the first half as the Falcons (4-2) rolled.
In the end, it was three goals in five minutes and one second.
After showing flashes of a cohesive, passing-oriented offensive attack through their first five games of the season, Falcons senior midfielder Drew Blower said the team will be able to point to this game as a turning point.
“The intelligent play, performing together — we’d never done it this season — it will wear a team down,” he said. “We had kids realizing that passing works. It’s the game where we realized what we have to do.”
The continuous passing paid a toll on Walburn’s young team.
“It was stamina,” he said. “They are a great passing team, and that’s how I want my team to be.”
The onslaught continued after halftime as Blower got in on the action with a goal less than two minutes into the second half. Schmelzer added his second assist, quickly turning his hips on a ball that almost was out of play to cross it to Ryan Hill for a goal with 16:29 left. Schmelzer then got a goal of his own with 14:38 left to cap the night.
While things went bad quickly for Lakewood, Walburn said his team played better than it did in a weekend loss to Liberty Union.
“We played a lot better than the scoreboard,” he said. “The scoreboard didn’t show how we played.”