PITTSFORD — Proctor’s Conner McKearin had his second four-goal game of the season, but the Phantoms’ defense shared top billing with the junior midfielder in Monday’s 5-0 victory over Long Trail.
Proctor enjoyed a large territorial edge, attacking much of the 80 minutes. But when the Mountain Lions did mount any semblance of an attack, backs Joe Valerio, Solomon Parker, Logan Starling, Jed Nop and Bryson Bourne extinguished any threat before it could materialize.
“We have a lot of veterans back there,” Valerio said, noting that he, Parker and Starling are seniors.
Valerio orchestrates much of the alignment and it makes for a nearly impregnable wall.
“Our backs are very tough,” Proctor coach Chad Wilson said.”They run through everything, they tackle tough and they are good at everything out of the air.”
Coach Tim Smith had his Mountain Lions ready to play and this one did not come easy. The game was scoreless until only 2:54 remained in the first half, when McKearin headed Valerio’s corner kick. The ball ricocheted off a couple of players and into the goal.
It wasn’t the most artistic goal but the Valerio-McKearin combination has struck so many times the last couple of years, you would never be right to call it coincidence.
The Phantoms’ offense really came alive in the second half and it was that Valerio-McKearin combo again that got it started. This time the score was artistic — the type of play that leaps off the white board onto the field. It was a well struck corner kick that McKearin headed directly into the cage.
“We work on corner kicks and set plays 30 to 45 minutes before each game and we work on them from both sides,” Valerio said.
The Lions were able to muffle the Phantoms’ attack in the first half but there was no slowing down Proctor the second 40 minutes.
“In the first half we just didn’t get enough touches on the ball and we weren’t linking on our passes,” freshman forward Joel Denton said. “We got talked to about that by coach Chad at halftime.”
McKearin’s third goal came with 16:35 remaining and was assisted by Brennon Crossmon.
Bode Richardson netted his second goal of the season with 12:30 remaining and then Tyler Eugair assisted on McKearin’s fourth goal with 7:13 remaining.
Ian French earned the shutout but had to make only a couple of saves.
The Mountain Lions fall to 0-2.
Proctor puts its 3-0 record on the line at Bellows Falls on Wednesday.