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Cougar booters edged by Saints
DIXFIELD -- The Dirigo boys' soccer team played extremely hard, but came up short by 3-2 against Saint Dominics at Harlow Park.
"We knew coming in that St. Dom's is a very skilled team,” said Dirigo coach Jack Rioux, regarding how the Cougars had set a game plan.
"They put a lot of (offensive) pressure on, so we needed to get back and then be ready to counter-attack and that is that led to our first goal.”
Chad Snowman booted a penalty kick into the back of the net, 62 seconds into the contest, to give Dirigo a 1-0 lead. Dirigo's counter-attack worked when Yossapat Chanarune advanced the ball ahead to the speedy Snowman, who was hauled down by a Saints' defender in the offensive zone. The senior's penalty kick was skimmed by the left foot of St. Dom goalie Ben Sawyer (four saves).
Snowman scored three goals, including the eventual winner in the first half of a 5-1 triumph against Spruce Mountain in the season opener.
Dirigo goalie Mike Chow made several big saves through the first 35 minutes; it was impossible to side step the Cougars defense, led by sweeper Brian Volkernick, Aighdan Weisar, Jason Baldinelli and Randy Deroche, constantly cleared balls out of the zone.
"We have the diamond defense, with a sweeper in back," said Rioux, referring to a stopper up top and two fullbacks on each side.
"Most teams run two (attackers), so the fullbacks are there to pick them up on the outside."
SD went on the offensive and Calvin Stewart scored on short side with 4:26 left in the first half. It gave the Saints momentum and Tyler Furtado drilled a penalty kick 23 seconds later.
Early in the second half, Dirigo counter-attacked and was awarded a penalty kick, but a Hunter Ross shot was derailed by a diving Sawyer.
Furtado scored off a corner and Chow couldn't rotate over in time.
"It's so important to be able to markup,” said Rioux. "The Saint Doms players are very quick, so you can't afford to give them a step."
Dirigo refused to stop and responded 1:22 later. Ross drew two defenders out and passed the ball over to Snowman on the right wing, scoring into the far corner. The Cougars received quality minutes from Loen Kiem, TJ Frost and Cody Dolloff in midfield.