First half sinks Bulldogs in home opener

By Dave Faries, Editor
Posted 9/13/21

It was the tale of two halves.

The first 40 minutes of Mexico's home opener Tuesday evening against Marshall favored the visitors. Opportunities were few for Bulldogs' strikers while on the other …

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First half sinks Bulldogs in home opener

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It was the tale of two halves.

The first 40 minutes of Mexico's home opener Tuesday evening against Marshall favored the visitors. Opportunities were few for Bulldogs' strikers while on the other end of the pitch goalkeeper Emille Scanavino fended off a barrage of shots.

Three got through -- one a fluke during a scrum in front of the goal. The Owls were up 3-0 at the break.

Marshall scored twice more in the early going of the second half. But the Bulldogs' defense stiffened and Scanavino was challenged only eight times, one a brilliant diving save.

"In the first half we didn't communicate," Scanavino said. "We picked it up."

Meanwhile the Bulldogs began to create chances. This paid off with 15:55 to go when Dominic McKeown issued a looping free kick into the box, finding Haden Frazier.

Frazier knocked it into the back of the net and Mexico was on the board.

With 7:33 on the clock, Frazier struck again, this time from a throw in, to make it a 5-2 game.

Frazier attributed the slow start to early season jitters as the team adjusts to new positions. But there were indications as the first half wound down that the Bulldogs were finding their footing.

Gage Walker fired a promising cross into the box, but it was a bit too tall. Frazier twice slipped between two defenders in the box but was thwarted by Marshall goalkeeper Kevin Castillo. And Fernando Guzman worked into a dangerous space, but his shot sailed just wide.

"Marshall is a tough team," Frazier said. "But we'll get better. The second half showed who we really are."

Mexico struggles at Fulton

Two penalties and an own goal proved costly as the Bulldogs dropped the season opener 5-1 at Fulton on Sept. 2.

The Hornets swarmed around Mexico veterans Haden Frazier and Dominic McKeown, hoping to blunt the Bulldogs' attack. But Brendan McKeown found Fernando Guzman on a cross. Guzman drove it home for the lone score.

Mexico held possession for the majority of the game, and there were other positives from the game.

"We had some great passes in the midfield," observed head coach Bill Gleeson. "The defense performed very well together, especially considering it is an all new lineup from last year."

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