BURRILLVILLE --– The length of a soccer field from goal to goal is about 100 yards.
During Friday afternoon’s Division III-North opener between Burrillville and Classical, it was more like 50 yards.
Too bad for the host Broncos, it was not in their favor.
Classical, the defending state champions, dominated from the opening face-off to the final whistle and walked off the field the owner of a convincing 8-0 rout of Burrillville. The score had potential to reach double digits, but the Purple, leading by the final score, worked on their passing drills by playing keep away the final 15 minutes.
Seven different players scored for Classical with Julio Jimenez leading the way with two tallies.
“They are a fantastic team but there is no way they should beat us 8-0,” said Burrillville coach Brian LaFauci, whose team finished second to unbeaten Classical last year in III-North with an 8-7-3 record. The Purple went 17-0-1 in the league. “That’s a combination of them playing great like they can and us playing as bad as I expect we can. I think there were a lot of nerves with them being the defending state champions. Last year we had a tough game against them to (a 7-0 setback in their 2010-11 opener). They were definitely nervous.”
Even though the Broncos were completely out-matched by the Purple in yesterday’s affair, the score remained scoreless for nearly the first 20 minutes of the opening half. Jiminez eventually put Classical on the scoreboard at around the 18-minute mark. Just two minutes later, teammate Asa Sohn made it two-zip and before the clock reached 30 minutes, the Purple’s scoring continued with Nathan Calanan finding the net at 29:00.
“The beginning of the season it takes time to play like a team,” said Classical coach Ryan Cafferty, who lost several players from last year’s undefeated squad. “I was surprised to see that we did as well as we did.”
Despite the game going scoreless for a while in the first half, LaFauci still felt Classical was the dominate team on the field.
“They had many chances,” he said. “Our defense held up very well at the beginning and was solid. I think eventually what you run into, you just get tired. There is only so much you can hold off when they are putting that much pressure. And they kept pressure as they should and you get tired on the back end and you make mistakes, and that’s what happens.”
Classical, which out-shot the Broncos by a 37-18 margin in the game, made it 4-0 by the break with Saul Talavera scoring at 36:00
“They didn’t play like I know they can play,” LaFauci said. “We have to work that out.”
The Purple continued to apply pressure to the Broncos on their side of the field and scored their remaining four goals in about a 15-minute span that began early in the second half. Jimenez, Pablo Gonzalez, Josh Bergeron and Jorge Blanco all found the net for Classical in the latter half.
The Broncos will now try and bounce back from the rout when it plays host to North Providence next Friday. LaFauci is confident his squad, minus just a handful of players from last year, will be ready.
“I told them [today] this is not a good representation of what the season will look like,” he said. “We lost to this team, 7-0, last year to start the season and finished second in the league. It was 8-0 this time. It’s not the way we want to start but I know we have the talent to bounce back. [Today] was probably more on the coach in not getting them prepared, if anything else.”
Classical 4 4 – 8
Burrillville 0 0 – 0
First half – Cl, Julio Jiminez 18:00; 2. CL, Asa Sohn 20:00; 3. Nathan Calanan 29:00; 4. CL, Saul Talavera 36:00.
Second half – 5. CL, Jiminez, 45:00; 6. CL, Pablo Gonzalez 50:00; 7. Cl, Josh Bergeron 54:00; Jorge Blanco 60:00.
Saves – B, Michael Thompson 18. CL, Bergeron 10. Shots – CL, 37. B, 18