Auburn, ME - The Mustangs had an opportunity that they have never had before, a game against the #1 USCAA Division 1 team in the country. On Saturday, they hosted Bryant & Stratton-Syracuse at home in a non-conference matchup.
Mustangs Head Coach, Rob Rodriguez, commented, "These are the games we want to get because teams like this make you better. There is nothing special about the way they play, they simply move off the ball better and faster and they execute their passing game with a lot more precision than we do, with very few bad touches. I would take a game like this every week if I could."
The Mustangs, again having to use a patchwork lineup due to injuries with some players playing unfamiliar positions, knew they would be in defensive mode most of the game but their goal was simply to compete. For the first half, they did that. Although they conceded a goal in the first three minutes of the game off a corner kick, Central Maine was able to keep the Bobcats out of their net for the next forty minutes until they finally broke down with just a few minutes to go in the first half, going into the halftime break at a 2-0 deficit.
The Mustangs came out in the second half with a more attacking mindset and more confidence to move the ball better and they were able to play the game more in the middle of the field. Ten minutes into the second half, Bryant & Stratton scored their third goal and at that point, the Mustangs seemed to run out of gas, with more players having to limit their time due to injuries to preserve them and losing another two players for the rest of the game.
With a constant changing of positions, the Mustang midfield and defense was not able to hold back the Bobcats and ended up conceding six more goals to end the game at 9-0. Central Maine did create several breakaway opportunities that came up empty but the large deficit was disappointing after competing reasonably well with the best team they will see all season for 55 of the 90 minutes.
The Mustangs were outshot by 46 to 3 overall in the game, and goalkeeper, Ali Sult (Lisbon, ME), made 20 saves on 29 shots on goal.
The Mustangs are home on Wednesday, October 2nd at 5 pm in an important conference matchup with University of Maine at Machias.