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Cougar booters edge Roadrunners, 1-0
Lindsy Crutchfield of Dirigo, seen here in an earlier contest, tallied the lone score in an important victory over Mt. Abram. (Times photo by Bruce Farrin)
The Cougars' Mariah Lafleur advances the ball into the Dirigo end of the field in a recent contest. (Times photo by Bruce Farrin)
DIXFIELD -- The objective is to strike quickly and Lindsy Crutchfield certainly followed through by scoring 1:52 into the second half as the Dirigo girls' soccer team maintained enough control throughout the action for a 1-0 win against Mount Abram in early evening at chilly Harlow Park.
It was an extremely important game because Dirigo and Mount Abram were ranked seventh and eighth, respectfully, in WM Heal Points. The Roadrunners were determined, but Dirigo goalie Natasha Deroche rose up to the occasion to record her fourth shutout. Dirigo had regained possession of the ball and midfielder Michelle Morrison advanced the ball into the offensive box. Crutchfield continued forward, forcing MA goalie Allie Lopez to rush out, but the ball bounced behind her and rolled on the ground. The ball caromed off the right post and into the net.
"We didn’t really adjust at half," said Dirigo coach Art Chamberlin. "We went back to the senior game line up with all eight seniors in at once. Michelle got into one that Lindsy was able to, time her run perfectly to say on side and arrive with the ball to push it past Allie."
Still it required an all-around effort by Dirigo, beginning with the defense that prevented the Roadrunners from unwinding. The leader was Kayla Gaudin, who dropped back and was able to clear several balls out with booming kicks. There was constant rotation between Gretchen Bradbury, Bryce Parent, Sam Morse and stopper Ambyr Wilson.
Things changed when infractions by Dirigo resulted in MA being awarded penalty strokes with 11:32 and 8:46 left to play. The first try rolled wide left and the second was kicked over the cross bar. The Roadrunners were not done, but Deroche made a cradle catch on a one-on-one breakaway.
"I knew that Mt. Abram would give us a good test," said Chamberlin. "They have been stung by one-goal losses to all of the top teams."
Forward Natalie Bolduc encountered tough going because she was showed by an MA player throughout the game. Leading passes by Megan Bradbury, Sabrina Daoud, Destiny Newton and Morrison failed to get past the Roadrunners defenders.