AUGUSTA — Brewer coach Ben Poland saw a different Cony boys soccer team Tuesday than the one he faced a year ago.
This one controlled the tempo with short, quick passes, abandoning the kick-and-run game of the past few seasons. It paid off for the Rams as they built a three-goal lead and held off a late comeback to post a 3-2 win in a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A game.
“I thought Cony did a really good job possessing the ball and working it back to their defense,” Pollard said. “They played at their tempo. It really caught us off balance. It was completely different from what I remembered.”
The Rams (1-1-0) got a goal and an assist from senior transfer Bronson Kieltyka as well as scores from sophomore Connor Perry and Mexican exchange student Juan Antonio Dogre. Brewer’s Oisin Biswas cut the lead to 3-1 early in the second half and teammate Greg Warmuth tacked on a penalty kick with 2 minutes, 56 seconds left to play.
The win was a team effort, engineered by Kieltyka and Perry at midfield. Kieltyka grew up in the area but went away to private school for three years before returning home, but he’s familiar with his teammates.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Kieltyka said. “I’ve played Cony summer soccer the past three summers and I do know the players. We have a lot of athletes. It’s fun to work with them and play actual soccer unlike a lot of past years.”
Kieltyka put the Rams on the scoreboard just over 11 minutes into the game when his shot from 18 yards hit the back of a Brewer defender and fooled goalkeeper Alex Lakeman when it changed direction. Dogre made it 2-0 later in the half when Kieltyka sent him away down the right side and he beat Lakeman’s save attempt.
Cony goalkeeper Brandon Elwell finished with 12 saves, none better than the dive he made to deflect Gehrig White’s header midway through the first half. The Witches paid more attention to Kieltyka in the second, but Perry was able to slip free for a shot that beat Lakeman inside the right post to make it 3-0.
“I was carrying the ball and just saw my opening and took a shot,” Perry said. “It happened to be the right placement.”
The Witches (0-2-2) answered a minute later when Biswas one-timed a pass right in front of Elwell. The game got a little physical from there with neither side gaining an advantage. Lakeman was knocked from the game when he collided with Cony’s Chris Perry, but backup Rece Baker made several fine saves down the stretch. Together. Brewer’s goalie’s combined for 15 saves.
“We’re playing a possession game and the kids have bought into the system,” Cony coach Jon Millett said. “It’s working real well for us. When we are playing our game we’re a good team.”
Gary Hawkins — 621-5638