NEWPORTâWhile rains held off, the wind was a blowin' as the Falcons took on the Seahorses in boy's soccer action on Tuesday.
Coming off of an important tie with Essex, North Country looked to keep the momentum going, but Burlington was able to squeak a couple of goals past Logan Fortier and the boys in blue came away with the 2-0 win.
"The team's mood coming off the last match was upbeat and guys were really looking forward to proving not only to themselves, but to the rest of the Metro that Saturday wasn't a fluke," said coach James McKenny. "A 2-0 loss is not horrible, but I think the guys had put much larger expectations on themselves, and they took it pretty personally."
Burlington went to the attack early and often in the first half, led by their captain Nghia Nguyen.
The defender was up and down the field, and seemed to have the ball on his feet at all times.
When he didn't have it, his teammates Mohamed Jafar, Salamu Felekeni and Nihad Basic did.
The quartet had their way in the mid-field, controlling play with their nifty blend of long crosses and short touches.
Said BHS coach Bob Day, "With the narrow field up here, this is a tough place to play. But, we were mentally prepared for this match and we did what we needed to do."
"It was pretty tough (defending against BHS), and we got a lot of unlucky bounces," said NCUâs Jesse Breault.
"We have the best goalie in the state and one of the best defenses, so, it could have gone either way."
While being out possessed, the Falcons were stingy with the shots, allowing just two in the half, but much to their dismay, one of the two found the back of the net.
With 4:31 left to play, Basic's weak shot managed to bounce over Fortier out-stretched leg and into the goal.
North Country did get a chance to tie in the waning seconds of the half.
The Falcons were awarded an indirect kick roughly five to ten feet from the fifty on their side of the pitch.
Everybody ran up into or about the 18 yard line and waited for the kick, which Fortier delivered, displaying excellent accuracy and impressive power.
The ball bounced around, but nobody could get a foot or head on the ball and time expired before anything else could happen.
In the second it was more of the same, with Burlington playing a giant game of keep away from the Falcons.
They added an insurance goal two minutes into the half as Jafar fired a low shot across his body and into the bottom left side of the net and the score stayed 2-0 for the remainder of the game.
Logan had six saves in the game while Sandro Pobric had 3 for BHS.
The loss puts the Falcons in a tough spot.
They stand 0-5-1 with a little over a week left in September and they are in serious need of some wins if they want to open the play-offs in any other position besides the cellar of the Metro division.
They have started to change things up though.
McKenny has move Adam Viens up in hopes that his quickness can generate more offense.
"We are confident with job Ryan Paul has done in the middle with Zack Tweed, so we are trying to move a little more speed up through the middle," said McKenny
The Falcons are also fortunate in the fact that they will have over a week to work on their game before they have to face another team.
That team will be the BFA St. Albans Bobwhites, who are also winless in 2012, with a tie against Division II Milton as their season's high point.
Will rest and refocusing be the cure for what's ailing the Falcons?
Only time will tell.
North Country and BFA square off under the lights in St. Albans next Wednesday.
Game time is slated for 6:30 at the Collins-Perley Sports Complex