The field is among the widest in the Hockomock and the Warriors showed they’re willing to use as much space as they have at their disposal.
KP scored a pair of first half goals less than 10 minutes apart, coming away with a 2-0 win over Milford. KP’s first goal came using a counter attack on the wings and the second was finished off of a corner kick.
“We attacked heavily through our width and at the end of the day, it opens up our spine, which is where all of our strength is,” KP head coach Nick Gale. “We do work with the width well but we also have to be able to adapt if a team takes away the wings, we have to recognize that and play through the middle. I think we’re balanced enough to do it but today I thought we exposed the wings very nicely.”
The Warriors were on the attack from the opening whistle, combining nicely down both wings before trying to penetrate Milford’s defense. The breakthrough came in the 13th minute, when a blocked pass fell to the feet of senior Colby Koch on the left wing just over midfield. Koch took a couple of touches forward before springing junior Tyler Mann with a through ball. Mann reached it with a diagonal run, took a touch toward goal and tucked it under the oncoming keeper for the first goal.
“He’s very creative in his runs, he’s a strong player, and he creates a lot of gaps for other players to work in behind him,” Gale said of Mann.
King Philip kept its foot on the gas, with sophomore Anthony Bozza’s shot from the top of the area forcing Milford goalie Danny Zwonik into a diving save. On the ensuing corner kick, junior Connor Mullins sent a service to the back post where his brother, senior Cam Mullins, headed it back across the goal and into the far corner to make it 2-0 in the 20th minute.
“We have a lot of offensive minded kids that are willing to attack forward and we link up well,” Gale said. “We’re not afraid to transition, just as much as we do south to north, we’re looking to go east to west as well. We have the players to transition quickly.”
The Warriors kept possession for the majority of the first half, but the teams battled evenly for most of the second half. The Warriors nearly added onto their lead in the 47th minute after a corner kick was bounced around in the area, eventually deflected onto frame but Zwonik was positioned well and made the top.
King Philip threatened once more in the 65th minute when Koch chipped a ball into Thomas Lugten, who quickly flicked a header on behind him to Michael Rowe but Zwonik was quick to cut the space down and covered.
“Danny Zwonik played great, he kept us in this game honestly,” said first-year Milford head coach Brian Edwards. “I thought the second half we played a little better and limited their chances but we have some things we need to improve on. I’m not too worried, it’s the first game out and there’s a lot of room to improve. These guys have a good attitude and they didn’t give up – that’s very promising as a coach.
“Part of that was we weren’t ready, we weren’t prepared. I have to do a better job of getting these guys ready and we need to be more focused on the road. King Philip is a really skilled team and they can punish you. Their #10 [Tyler Mann], that kid is the real deal, that was a real tough finish. You just can’t give guys like that chances. They were very organized and credit to them and their coaching staff, they’re really talented and well coached.”
King Philip boys soccer (1-0-0) will look to make it two straight to start the season with a trip to Foxboro (0-0-1) on Tuesday. Milford (0-1-0) will try to earn their first points of the season when Franklin (1-0-0) makes a visit on Wednesday.