NEW BEDFORD — It's not even winter yet, but the snowball effect was alive and well for GNB Voc-Tech in a 7-1 boys soccer win over Apponequet on Wednesday.
The Bears got off to a slow start in the South Coast Conference matchup, but they scored on their second shot of the game to take a 1-0 lead and scored on four of their next six shots to build a 4-0 halftime advantage.
"It took us awhile to get going, but we stayed patient and did a good job keeping possession of the ball," Voc-Tech coach Henry Andrade said. "Once we broke through for that first goal, things went a lot smoother. We kept the pressure on and we were able to take advantage of our scoring chances the rest of the way."
Jose Juarez scored off a pass from Augustin Edwin about 13 minutes into the game and set up Logan Cabral about four minutes later to give the Bears a 2-0 lead.
Josh Tavares converted a pass from Michael Garcia to make it a 3-0 game about seven minutes later and Edwin wrapped up the first-half scoring a minute later on a header in front of the net.
Garcia scored back-to-back goals in a span of about 22 minutes in the second half to push the Bears in front 6-0 and Landon Amaral capped the Bears' scoring about a minute later.
The Lakers' goal came with a little over two minutes left to play when Aiden Lahane scored on a penalty kick.
"We were able to move the ball and open up gaps in the midfield," said Garcia, who also scored two goals last Friday in the Bears' 8-1 win over the Lakers in the teams' first meeting. "We did a good job playing the ball to feet and we put together a lot of good scoring attacks. Once we got things going on offense, we never let up."
With the offense taking care of things on its end, keeper Sven Tveit said the Bears also played a strong game on defense.
"I have good teammates in front of me and we haven't allowed a lot of goals," said Tveit, who had five saves. "That's been big, because it puts less pressure on me. With the scorers we have, we know we're going to put the ball in the net. The offense gives us a lot of leads to work with and we take pride in protecting those leads by playing together on defense."
Apponequet coach Trevor Gagnier said his team needs to regroup and work on getting better.
"We have to get back to work and take things one game at a time," Gagnier said. "We had some scoring opportunities, but we didn't finish. We're playing hard and hanging tough. We just need to catch a couple of breaks."
WHAT IT MEANS: The win was the seventh straight for GNB Voc-Tech, which improved to 10-3-0 overall and 9-1-0 in the SCC. ... Apponequet dropped to 3-7-1 overall and 2-5-1 in SCC action. ... The Bears host Dartmouth for a non-conference game on Saturday. ... The Lakers host league-rival Bourne on Friday.
APPONEQUET STATS: The Lakers finished with seven shots on goal — three in the first half and four after the break. ... They took their only corner kick in the first half.
GNB VOC-TECH STATS: The Bears outshot the Lakers 8-3 in the first half and 9-4 after the intermission for a combined advantage of 17-7. ... They netted four goals in the first half en route to building a 4-0 halftime lead and scored on three of their last four shots in the second half. ... They took one corner kick in each half. ... Tveit gave way to junior Marcus DosSantos with about 20 minutes left to play. DosSantos turned away two of the three shots he faced.
GAGNIER ON THE BEARS: "Voc-Tech is a real good team. They have some well-coached, talented kids who can put the ball in the net and they play together well on both sides of the ball."
NOTES: Neither team was whistled for being offside. ... Cabral made a good bid for the Bears five minutes into the game with a header that sailed over the crossbar on a corner kick, and teammate Dominek Borden hit the left post about two minutes later. ... After falling behind 1-0, the Lakers put together a good attack that ended with a hard shot by Eldan Kendall that Tveit deflected over the crossbar with a leaping save. ... With Connelly out of net to take on an attacker in the first minute of the second half, Ethan Riggs stepped in behind Connelly and blocked a shot by the Bears to prevent Voc-Tech from building a quick 5-0 lead. ... The Lakers had two good scoring chances in the first 15 minutes of the second half. Kendall missed the net wide left after making a good run with the ball and Tveit stepped up to make a nice save on a direct kick by Lahane. ... Connelly made a nice diving save at the right post on a Voc-Tech direct kick with about 18 minutes left to play.