GRAY—Josh Michaud hashed a hat trick for the Patriots in a huge second half – a seven-goal second half, to be precise – when Wells dropped by for a little friendly competition on Saturday afternoon, Sept. 21.

8-1 the final as G-NG jumped to 3-1-1 on the season.

“I thought we played a little more simple in the second half,” Patriots head coach Kyle Fletcher said. “We didn’t try to do too much – more of just two-touch: get the ball, move the ball. That’s when we’re most dangerous. Even the past games we’ve played. When we share the ball quickly.”

Fletcher continued: “The depth we have helps. We are really deep – so, late in games, we tend to be fresher than the other team. The work rate was a lot better in the second half as well.”

Nick Pelletier battles a Wells opponent. Adam Birt / Lakes Region Weekly

G-NG pressured heavily throughout the bout. The Patriots’ initial goal came in the first half of the first half, when Jacob MacCallum PKed past Warriors netminder Owen Coggeshell-Beyea. But though G-NG tallied additional shots before the break – MacCallum had one, a bullet from up top, and Keegan Brooks had another, an inside lob – they couldn’t find the back of the net again. Not until the second half.

“Really just the intensity,” Michaud said, asked what changed for the Patriots during the break. “We didn’t start the game out intense at all; the bench was real flat. We got each other going and things took off from there.”

In the downhill 40 minutes, G-NG put up points like points are easy to come by in soccer (they’re not, as a rule). Michaud broke things open early with his first strike of the day, a redirect on a Brooks cross. Not long after – the clock read 33:16 – Brooks fired a corner kick inward and Michaud again relayed the ball past Coggeshell-Beyea. 3-0.

Less than two minutes later, freshman Max Kenney assisted junior Wyatt Kenney on the 4-0 blow: The elder Kenney fired a laser-guided notch from roughly 25 yards out, a blistering shot to the top of the Wells net. Just over three minutes after that, with a crush of bodies converging on Coggeshell-Beyea’s doorstep, Patriot James Terry punched the 5-0 goal home from out of the melee.

“I knew, coming into this game, that we’d still have to play hard,” Michaud said. “And we only got one goal out of the first half. So I knew we had to turn it on in the second-half. And I knew I had to step up my game and be a leader – bring my boys up, put that first goal in.”

Josh Michaud kicked in a hat trick for the Patriots in their huge victory over Wells. Adam Birt / Lakes Region Weekly

Michaud completed his three-goal outing with 23:04 to go: Austin LaLiberty fired a hard shot at Coggeshell-Beyea, the rebound flew outward and Michaud got a head on it, adding it to the scoreboard. 6-0.

Phew.

Fletcher elaborated a bit on G-NG’s depth. “We really don’t drop in play when we go from senior to sophomore,” he said. “I wouldn’t say our level of play is the best in the League, but depth-wise, I think we can hold our own with anyone.”

G-NG picked up two more before time expired: Logan True contributed one on a sailing shot from 30 yards out or more, and Kaleb Frey capped the Patriots’ day with two minutes (give or take) left on the clock.

“Wells has always been a good competitor,” Michaud said, asked what he knew about the Warriors, coming in. “We still had to play hard.”

On that note: Andrew Wuerthner had Wells’s lone goal; Wuerthner scored on a pretty shot from way out. The strike floated just over leaping G-NG netminder Braden Craig and just under the crossbar: Really, it was the mirror image of True’s earlier tally.

Cam Roberge unwinds into a centering pass for the Patriots. Adam Birt / Lakes Region Weekly

The Warriors earned a second quality opportunity when they were awarded a PK with 10:12 remaining. Wuerthner took the shot; Craig, however, dove left and (brilliantly!) saved it.

Fletcher praised a handful of his boys, including Craig: “Obviously Braden, making the penalty save,” Fletcher said, asked who turned in a good game. “The game was probably over at that point, but it’s still a really good save. Josh played well. I think he’s got nine goals right now. Tristan Fogg played well…When he plays simple, he’s really dangerous in the midfield.”

The Patriots traveled to Greely on Tuesday, Sept. 24, where they fell 2-1. They visit Fryeburg (1-4-1) on Thursday the 26th.

“As long as we work hard, do our best, stay as a family and a team, we’re set to do good things,” Michaud said. “For sure.”

Keegan Brooks turned in a strong performance for G-NG vs. the Warriors. Adam Birt / Lakes Region Weekly

Eben Knedler pulls the trigger. Adam Birt / Lakes Region Weekly

Alec Brooks rears up to settle an incoming ball. Adam Birt / Lakes Region Weekly

Patriot Max Kenney dishes through the midfield. Adam Birt / Lakes Region Weekly

Tristan Fogg earned praise from G-NG head coach Kyle Fletcher for his efforts on Saturday. Adam Birt / Lakes Region Weekly

Nate Paquette works near midfield. Adam Birt / Lakes Region Weekly

Austin LaLiberty duels a Warrior. Adam Birt / Lakes Region Weekly

 

Patriot Colby Dehetre races a Warriors opponent in pursuit of a runaway ball. Adam Birt / Lakes Region Weekly

G-NG senior Kaleb Frey contributed his boys’ last – their eighth – goal of the day in a big win over Wells. Adam Birt / Lakes Region Weekly

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