It may have been St. Mary’s first game of the year, but if you ask Manitou Springs, the Pirates sure didn’t play like it was.
Behind a barrage of second-half scores, St. Mary’s dominated its 3A rival 7-2 at home Tuesday to start the season off in grand style.
It took roughly 40 minutes for the Pirates to knock the rust off and get down to business. The score was knotted at one after the first half, but St. Mary’s didn’t wait long into the second half to break the tie.
Michael Cannon used some fancy footwork before unleashing a rocket that beat Manitou Springs keeper Carter Sandras to the far side of the net for the first of his two goals. The lead was 2-1, but the green-and-white-clad side was just getting started.
“I wanted our team to get a little tougher and to stop fooling around,” St. Mary’s coach Lou Sagastume said.
The Pirates’ third goal came as a result of a combination of luck and poor Manitou execution. Defenseman Josh McCarty kicked a ball from midfield that found its way past three Mustang defenders and fell right into the lap of Jacob Morales, who finished the easy goal from point-blank range.
Just 32 seconds later St. Mary’s would land the knockout blow, when Alex Thomas added his second goal on a shot that just brushed the post on its way in past a diving Sandras.
Only 2 minutes after his second, Thomas would add a hat trick to his first-game résumé to make the score 5-1 in the 55th minute.
“We beat them 8-0 last year so we might’ve thought this one would be easy, but when it was tied at the half it surprised us,” said Thomas, who ended up with four goals.
The Mustangs never gave up; they were just outclassed in the final 40 minutes.
While St. Mary’s controlled most of the first half, the Mustangs would not be deterred.
Sawyer Lincoln put pressure on the Pirates’ defense as the half came to a close, and it paid off for the Mustangs with a Lincoln goal in the 39th minute. He would later leave with an apparent hip injury.
Gorka Villalonga would add a goal for the Mustangs, but it was too late as they fell to 0-3.