When Brighton battled Boston English in girls' soccer at Portsmouth Field in Brighton Tuesday afternoon, it was anyone's game early on. Both teams started out with high intensity, though they had trouble controlling the ball because of the rain.
Then Brighton’s Helina Gurmessa stepped in.
The Bengals shut out English, 4-0, and the forward scored three of the four goals. Not only is she a freshman, but this was only her second match.
“I knew she had skills,” said Brighton coach Bridget Driscoll. “But to see her execute was great.”
“It feels good,” Gurmessa said. “Especially since it was my second game, because I didn’t get my physical in on time.”
Her first goal came 20 minutes into the game. Senior forward and captain Emma Lama took control of the ball in the middle of the field, carried it past three defenders, and made a swift pass to freshman midfielder Juliana Santos.
Santos crossed the ball to the middle, and Gurmessa knocked it in.
Gurmessa scored again in the last five minutes of the first half, after a swift pass in front of the goal from Lama.
Gurmessa was at it again in the second half, scoring into the upper right corner of the goal after an impressive cross to the left by Brighton senior midfielder Amarilia Veiga.
Lama, who was also a strong offensive presence, scored the final goal in the first 15 minutes of the second half after a gorgeous shot from the middle of the field.
Brighton sophomore keeper Stephanie Fernandes provided the shutout.
Boston English senior keeper Aida Cornier also was excellent, with 16 saves, but she is looking to improve.
“I feel like I could have done better,” she said. “We’ll be more prepared [next time.]”
Coach Carlos Cornish thinks the only way English can improve is with practice, which has been a problem.
“We’re not getting practice time in that we should," said Cornish. "Some have jobs, some need to go home to watch the little ones. It’s hard.”
The Bengals have had no trouble with practice, though, and it showed on the field. Driscoll believes they have one thing to work on, though.
“We need to constantly work on positioning,” she said. “But everyone played pretty well.”
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