FARMINGDALE — Hall-Dale came out flat for its Mountain Valley Conference opener Friday and ran into a young, eager and fast St. Dominic team that would make the Bulldogs pay.

Victoria Sasse, one of six freshmen in St. Dom’s starting lineup, made eight saves and three different Saints scored to defeat the Bulldogs 3-0 at Melvin H. Simmons Field.

Avery Lutrzykowski, another freshman, set the aggressive tone early for the Saints with a near goal that hit the left post. She then cashed in for the game’s first goal on a two-on-one with Alexandra Hammerton, beating Hall-Dale freshman goalie Maggie Gross in the 21st minute to put the Saints in front for good.

“Just running down the field, I saw the goalie come out,” Lutrzykowski said. “I knew that I had to make a move. It was just me and the goal and I just kind of tapped it in.”

“I think it got us really pumped,” she added. “I think everybody got super excited and ready to go and score some more.”

Julia Masters did just that with about 10 minutes left in the half, finding the back left corner over Gross’ head with a high, deep bid from well beyond the 18.

“Even being a young team, I think our teamwork stood out,” said St. Dom’s coach Alicia Pelletier, whose team lost eight starters to graduation. “We played much more than our age. We played light years ahead of where we’ve been. I think preseason was hard for us.”

Pelletier said the Saints matured going up against teams from larger schools in the preseason.

Lutrzykowski agreed.

“We played teams that are Class A, Class B,” Lutrzykowski said. “We were playing girls that they could take out from, maybe, 2,000 girls (enrollment). We can take out from 200. So it definitely helped us to get ready for this game.”

Hall-Dale started to tilt the field midway through the first half to generate some chances, but Sasse was stout in net and St. Dom’s frequently countered off those chances.

“We have a real clear way that we play soccer, and we just didn’t execute consistently and just played flat mentally and got beat to the ball,” Hall-Dale coach Guy Cousins said.

St. Dom’s didn’t let up to start the second half, making it 3-0 when Kristina Cornelio scored off a throw-in from Lutrzykowski.

Hall-Dale played with more of a sense of desperation from there and controlled the ball for the balance of the second half but the Saints weren’t intimidated.

“We worked so hard in preseason that our fitness really showed in this game,” Pelletier said.

“It’s the old saying that I just told (the team): ‘Hard work beats skill when skill doesn’t work hard,’ and we got outworked, plain and simple,” Cousins said.

Gross made five saves for Hall-Dale.

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @RAWmaterial33

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