CHAMPLAIN — Jordan Birlotti said he “had no clue” that Tuesday could be a milestone night for Northeastern Clinton coach Dale Hawksby, but Birlotti was instrumental in the Cougars’ notable victory.
Birlotti scored two goals as Northeastern Clinton beat AuSable Valley 6-0 in a boys’ Northern Soccer League game for Hawksby’s 300th career win.
The coach has compiled a 300-91-32 record at Northeastern Clinton.
“It’s a real good feeling,” Hawksby said. “You like to set goals for yourself a little bit and the team. And obviously 300’s a goal, I think, for any coach to reach.
“I’ve been doing it now for 23 years. So I sort of keep track after a while, and say, ‘Hey I’m getting pretty close.’ So it’s a great feeling to get there.”
He added that JV coach Frank Dumas, who started the same year as Hawksby, has been just as successful, recording 312 wins.
Birlotti found out about Hawksby’s accomplishment after the game and called it “pretty exciting.”
“Coach is an amazing coach. If we need something, we can talk to him,” Birlotti said. “He knows the game really well.”
The Cougars (5-2-2, 3-2-1 NSL) controlled play for most of the game Tuesday. Ryan Parent put them up 1-0 at 12:49, and shortly after they clanged a shot off the crossbar, Austin Tetreault scored from the right side.
Northeastern Clinton took that 2-0 lead into the second half, and Birlotti quickly doubled it. Tetreault came down the middle of the field and fed Birlotti on the left side for a goal at 6:34, and six minutes later Birlotti got past the defense and scored from in close. Tetreault also earned that assist.
Birlotti is a junior in his first year on varsity, and Hawksby said he has come on strong since returning from an injury that kept him out of the first few games.
“He progressively got better, better and better,” Hawksby said. “He got a starting role on the left-hand side because he does have a really good left foot.
“He’s getting there. He’s going to be a good player.”
Austin Gonyo and Theo Sisson tallied in the final 15 minutes, with Jacob Lafountain assisting on both goals.
Brady Vassar made two saves to earn the shutout.
Northeastern Clinton peppered AuSable Valley (0-7, 0-6) goalkeeper Jimmy Provost with 30 shots, and he turned away 23 of them.
“We were talking a lot, and also we were passing really, really well,” Birlotti said. “We were acting as a team today.”
Northeastern Clinton 6, AuSable Valley 0
AuSable Valley 0 0 — 0
Northeastern Clinton 2 4 — 6
First half- 1, NCCS, Parent, 12:49. 2, NCCS, Tetreault (Sample), 23:25.
Second half- 3, NCCS, Birlotti (Tetreault), 6:34. 4, NCCS, Birlotti (Tetreault), 12:32. 5, NCCS, Gonyo (Lafountain), 25:16. 6, NCCS, Sisson (Lafountain), 35:13.
Shots: AuSable Valley 3, Northeastern Clinton 30.
Saves: Provost, AV, 23. Vassar, NCCS, 2.
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