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Pollard, Colonels pound No. 1 Stonington 6-2 in boys' soccer opener

Stonington — Daimon Pollard's friends at Ledyard High School call him "Damo." It rhymes with "Hall of Fame-O," which pretty well describes his level of excellence Thursday night.

Pollard scored four goals and his teammates responded to five years of winless frustration against Stonington, pounding the state's No. 1 team 6-2 in the 2021 season opener.

"I don't use big words," Pollard said, "but I'm ecstatic right now. Just ecstatic. I don't know what else to say."

He said it all on the field.

"That's the type of player he is," Ledyard coach Bill Glenney said. "Stonington had people around him all night and he was still able to do some great things."

Stonington, the state's 2019 Class M champion, played without leading scorer, recent Providence College commit and reigning Day Player of the Year Sam Montalto, who injured his quad in practice. Montalto is expected to return this season, perhaps in a few weeks, he said before the game.

"Obviously, Sam is a great player, but he doesn't play defense," Glenney said. "I don't know. Is this game 6-6 if he plays?"

The first of Will Sawin's two goals gave the Bears a 1-0 lead early. Nick Washington tied it for Ledyard before Pollard scored four straight.

"We knew coming in Ledyard was a good team," Stonington coach Paul deCastro said. "You saw some of their firepower. We knew not having Sam was a factor. I was hoping some of the other guys would step up and they did for a while. But then the wheels kind of came off."

The Bears and Colonels (ranked 14th in the first state poll) will play at Ledyard in the final regular season game. They may meet again in the Eastern Connecticut Conference tournament and perhaps in the state tournament as well.

That's why Glenney remained mostly placid after the game.

"I told the kids in practice (Wednesday) that no matter what happens, this is one game," Glenney said. "There is a long way to go. Stonington is very good."

Peyton Luther also scored for the Colonels, who play Lyman Memorial on Saturday.

"I'm just really proud of the way we played," Pollard said. "All of us. The guys in the back were amazing. But like coach said, there's a long way to go."

m.dimauro@theday.com



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