TOWNSEND -- Coming off a pair of losses in which they were outscored 6-1, there was a feeling that the Groton-Dunstable boys' soccer team was due to break out. It happened on Tuesday afternoon. The Crusaders never took their foot off the pedal, running out to a 3-0 halftime lead before tacking on six second-half goals, five from Nate Pomeroy, in a 9-1 victory over North Middlesex in non-league play.
"We had played in a couple of tough games where we couldn't get things on track, but today we came in and unleashed our offense," said Groton-Dunstable coach Sean Wiseby. "I thought it was a tough first half, but we were able to control the flow of play, which was key. We did a nice job of doing a couple of different things to get Nate free today and he capitalized on his opportunities."
Pomeroy reached a personal milestone on his fifth goal of the day. The senior forward hit the 100-point mark for his career by curling in a direct kick inside the right post from 20 yards out in the 52nd minute.
"I thought it was great to see Nate hit that mark today in a great effort," said Wiseby. "Early on, he had been struggling as teams threw a lot of different looks at him. I have been trying to figure out ways to get him some good looks and that paid off today."
Lost in the outburst was the solid play of both Patriots goalkeepers that saw time on the day. Tyler Ruf came up with 17 saves, most of them of the spectacular variety while Michael Niemi came on midway through the second half and added six saves of his own.
"Today, the goalkeepers were outstanding in my eyes, regardless of what the score says," said North Middlesex coach Pen Burnham. "We faced a ton of shots and it could have been much worse if it wasn't for the efforts of Tyler and Michael. I thought we played hard throughout and we played fair, which is all I can ask of the kids."
In a first half that saw the Crusaders pile up a 22-4 advantage in shots on goal, Pomeroy struck twice, once in the second minute and again in the 30th minute. Matt Tornaritis added a goal of his own in the 22nd minute, perfectly placing a chip shot in the top left corner from the top of the box as Groton-Dunstable held a 3-0 lead after 40 minutes of play.
At the beginning of the second half, Groton-Dunstable kept the pressure up as Pomeroy struck for three goals in seven minutes. Doug Rosa picked up assists on the first two goals while the third goal put Pomeroy at the century mark for his varsity career.
Dan McGuiness, the Crusaders' leading scorer on the young season, got in on the scoring action in the 60th minute, putting home a shot inside the left post off an assist by Morgan Manthous. A minute later, McGuiness picked up an assist on a Rosa goal that pushed the lead to 8-0.
Brogan Walsh capped the scoring for Groton-Dunstable with an unassisted tally in the 65th minute. The Patriots picked up their lone goal of the match with seven minutes remaining as off a free kick, Steve Julius sent a pass to the left side of the box to Dan LaCross who put a shot inside the left post from 10 yards out to account for the 9-1 final.