COLONIE — In every game the Mekeel Christian Academy boys’ soccer team plays with Len’s Lima in its lineup, there is the potential for something special to happen.
It did Tuesday on a windy field at Afrim’s Sports Park, but it was an unlikely Galway senior who stole the show.
Braden Boudreau scored three goals in a quick first-half stretch and added one more in the second half to lift the Eagles past the Lions 4-0 in a “Fall II” Western Athletic Conference game.
“My junior year, I had seven goals. I never had more than one in a game,” Boudreau said. “It definitely felt great to break the curse.”
Lima scored seven goals in his team’s 10-1 season-starting win over Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons Saturday, adding to a long list of impressive outings, but along with the rest of the Lions, he was held at bay by a Galway team that, over the years, has been among the WAC’s best.
“Our game plan was to know where he was at all times, and have one or two players pressure him,” Galway coach Kris Toscano said.
Another part of Galway’s game plan was to cash in with a strong wind to its back in the opening half.
“After we won the coin toss, there was some discussion if we wanted the ball or the wind. We were going to go against it at first, and Rowan [Smith] stepped up and said we want the wind,” Boudreau said of his fellow team captain. “We wanted the wind first, and we wanted to set the tone early and stay ahead.”
That’s just what happened, with Boudreau three times gathering the ball and scoring a goal with an accurate kick. Boudreau’s goals came at 9:19, 15:18 and 16:37.
“It definitely helped us,” Boudreau said of playing with the wind to his team’s back. “The ball was flying.”
Lima’s only good scoring chance in the first half sailed wide, and his only quality bid in the second half ended with a save by Henry Flint.
“I am going to give them credit,” said Lima, who scored 29 goals as a junior and has 76 in his four-year career. “Their number 20 [Rowan] was right there with me.”
“Lima scored seven goals in their last game,” Boudreau said. “Our focus was to stop him.”
Boudreau chipped the ball high and into the cage for his fourth goal 13:12 into the second half.
“I was praying it wouldn’t go too far left,” Boudreau said. “I never did a chip in a game.”
Boudreau had a goal in Galway’s season-starting 4-2 win over Middleburgh last week.
“He didn’t score a lot of goals last season, but he did things that helped others score. He was more of a facilitator last season,” Toscano said of Boudreau, one of his nine seniors. “It was nice to see him get a bunch of goals.”
“The Boudreau kid had a banner day,” Mekeel coach Joe McCarty said.
Aside from Lima’s shot, Mekeel put nothing else on goal in the second half.
“In the second half, when we were in the wind, we were composed, and that helped,” Toscano said. “We wanted to possess the ball. That’s how we wanted it.”
“Kris Toscano is a soccer guy. He was a real good player and he knows the game,” McCarty said. “He’s got his kids technically sound. Their skill level is much higher than ours. They play the game the right way.”
Halftime score: Galway led 3-0. Mekeel scoring: None. Galway scoring: Boudreau 4-0,, Sargent 0-1, Smith 0-1, Clarke 0-1, Powers 0-1. Goalkeepers: Mekeel, Martuscello, 5 saves. Galway, Flint, 1 save.