When St. Michael’s Ashton Fletcher and Mitchell Williams walked off the soccer field Wednesday night, their jerseys told the story of the Warriors’ 2-0 victory over district rival Lutcher.
Fletcher’s turf stained kit was the product of 90 minutes of bulldozing the Lutcher defense, while Williams remained a pristine white as he danced around the Bulldogs for most of the match.
It may sound like two clashing styles of play, but the win showed just how devastating the combined forces could be.
“It’s two totally different styles of play,” St. Michael coach Paul Fletcher said. “It gives teams fits because of that. That’s the style — Mitchell is the lightning and Ashton is the thunder.”
It didn’t take long to see the connection the two have built on the field, as Ashton Fletcher found Williams on a corner kick in the 14th minute. Williams one-touched the ball into the back of the net to give the Warriors what would eventually become the game-winning goal.
Williams said they’ve spent years building that connection at St. Michael with another highlight in their careers together.
“We’ve been together forever and that really helps us,” Williams said. “We know each other, what we’re doing, what we’re thinking.”
Lutcher had no answer for Williams and Ashton Fletcher as they consistently put shots on goal, mainly stemming from a Fletcher-to-Williams pass.
But it wasn’t just those two to give the Bulldogs fits. The Warriors put together what Paul Fletcher called his team’s best performance of the season, capping off the first multiple-goal victory in series history for either program. St. Michael leads the series 6-1.
The Warriors dominated control of the ball in the first half, ripping nine shots off — four of which were on frame — compared to Lutcher’s one.
Lutcher coach Zachary Miller summed it up by saying his team came out lazy in the first half and had no answer for the explosive Warrior attack.
“They put it on us from kickoff,” Miler said. “The proved they’re the more complete team right now.
“Our effort just didn’t match theirs in the first half.”
St. Michael tacked on another goal in the 18th minute when Williams hit a ball across the goal where Jake Buss took the shot off one touch into the net.
Fortunately for Lutcher, as the temperature at the Burbank Soccer Complex dropped in the second half, so did the number of St. Michael’s offensive opportunities.
St. Michael produced only five shots on goal in the second half, none of which seriously threatened Lutcher goalkeeper Coy Amato.
“This was our sixth game in seven days and, fatigue-wise, I think our legs started to go,” Paul Fletcher said. “I think we did fade. There was a lot more space on the field, which is usually a sign of fatigue.
“We didn’t want to give them the time to serve the big ball, and they did get to serve a few later in the game.”