AUBURN, Mass. – This wasn’t the way that new coach Christopher Bailey wanted to start the season as the Auburn High School boys soccer team came up short against Leicester, 3-0, in the season opener under the lights at Auburn on Thursday.
Leicester jumped out to a one-goal lead at halftime and added two goals in the final minutes to put the game away.
“This certainly wasn’t the outcome we wanted, but I tip my hat Leicester. They are a good ball club, well coached and well disciplined. They move the ball well. It was a good learning experience for us,” Bailey said. “I liked our effort. Even though we were down, we did not back down at all.”
Leicester’s Jack Lajoie recorded the team’s first goal 10 minutes into the game. After receiving a pass from Josh Kilmonis, Lajoie did the rest, getting the ball by Auburn sophomore goalkeeper Adam Gillies.
Auburn didn’t have many chances to score in the first half. Senior forward Rob Anderson had a rare opportunity, but his shot was deflected by Leicester goalkeeper Jake Provost.
Then in the second half, Kilmonis drilled a hard strike that sailed past Gillies, putting Leicester ahead 2-0. “Not many goalies could have stopped that one,” one of the referees said after that goal.
Leicester’s final goal came with 12 minutes left on the clock when Nick Blue received a pass from Nuru Lawal and sent the ball home.
Auburn still needs to figure out a new style of play, which is different from what the players are used to, Bailey said.
“They’re learning a new system, and it hasn’t quite jelled yet,” he said. “I think when it does, we’ll be OK. The kids are practicing hard and playing hard, and we’ll be OK as the season progresses.”
Auburn faces Northbridge, Quaboag and Southbridge, all on the road, next week.