Bulldogs steam past Pirates in KLAA West opener, 4-0

Brighton's Thomas Stanis advances on Pinckney keeper Riley Alexander as Connor Wolschlager defends in the second half on Tuesday. Stands scored the first goal for the Bulldogs in a 4-0 victory. (Photo by Tim Robinson)
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BRIGHTON — It took a while for the Brighton soccer team to get going, but once it did, the Bulldogs rolled to their fourth win of the season Tuesday night, blanking Pinckney 4-0 at Sloan Field.

The game was scoreless until Thomas Stanis scored with 12 minutes left in the first half.

“We just weren’t connecting passes like we should have been and making the play as quick as we could have,” Stanis said.

Brighton's Thomas Stanis advances on Pinckney keeper Riley Alexander as Connor Wolschlager defends in the second half on Tuesday. Stands scored the first goal for the Bulldogs in a 4-0 victory. (Photo by Tim Robinson)
Brighton’s Thomas Stanis advances on Pinckney keeper Riley Alexander as Connor Wolschlager defends in the second half on Tuesday. Stands scored the first goal for the Bulldogs in a 4-0 victory. (Photo by Tim Robinson)

Brighton coach Rob Williams said it was a matter of tempo.

“The past few games we’ve played at a really fast pace, and I don’t know if they assumed it wouldn’t be as high,” he said. “We didn’t really start pressing them until (28) minutes into the first half, and then we got a goal right away.”

After that, the Bulldogs (4-0-1 overall, 1-0 KLAA West) dominated, outshooting the Pirates 15-1 with nearly a dozen more shots sailing over the crossbar.

“We’re still trying to find an identity,” said Pinckney coach Chris Fowler, whose team fell to 0-3, 0-1. “A lot of it is we don’t know who we want to be, and we’re trying to piece some things together and get a rotation (together).”

Still, Fowler was pleased with his team’s effort.

“We had just a couple of miscues,” he said. “It was 4-0, and they had three or four set-piece goals. It’s just cleaning up the mental mistakes and eliminating chances.”

Colin Adam, Ian Sosenko and Jace Rose (who also had an assist) also scored, while Riley Radwanski-Gallas picked up his third shutout of the season.

Pinckney keeper Riley Alexander and Brighton's Jace Rose collide after Rose deflected the ball toward the goal for Brighton's final score Tuesday night. (Photo by Tim Robinson)
Pinckney keeper Riley Alexander and Brighton’s Jace Rose collide after Rose deflected the ball toward the goal for Brighton’s final score Tuesday night. (Photo by Tim Robinson)

“Everyone was tired,” Williams said, “and not to make any excuses, but I got a lot of work out of Ian, it was Bailey Rydberg’s first game back and our exchange student did a great job. Colin Adam had a great night. He was all over the field. Cameron (Williams) could have had 3-4 assists, but we just didn’t finish them.”

It was the first league match of the season for both teams, and with another game coming up on  Thursday, there wasn’t much time to celebrate or mourn.

“Right now, we want to stay healthy and tweak what we’re doing wrong,” Fowler said. “If it’s just tweaking set pieces for today, we tweak it (Wednesday) and go into Thursday with a full head of steam, and we tweak what happens Thursday.”

The Pirates take on another tough team Thursday, when they play host to Hartland. Brighton will travel to Howell.

Hartland 3, Grand Blanc 3

HARTLAND — Brady Walker scored twice and assisted on the third goal for the Eagles (8-1-2, 0-0-1).