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Cougar booters edge Falcons, 2-1
RUMFORD -- The ability to strike quickly powered Dirigo in a 2-1 triumph over determined Mountain Valley under the lights in a boys' soccer game at Chet Bulger Field.
TJ Frost and Hunter Ross scored goals at 19 and 15 seconds into the start of each half and then the Cougars needed a combined effort to fend off a strong challenge. Still, the rivalry surely provided all the motivation between the neighboring Cougars and Falcons.
“We wanted to start fast,” said Dirigo coach Jack Rioux. “I really didn’t know if we were ready to play tonight. But those two quick goals told me we were. It was a total team effort because everyone got involved.”
Dirigo, who donned pink for breast cancer awareness, set up the eventual winning play like clock work. Frost advanced a lead pass to Ross, who never broke stride and kicked the ball across the crease. Falcon goalie Kyle Gauvin (11 saves) attempted to cut down the angle, however, the ball nestled into the far corner.
“We had quite a few breakaway attempts,” said Rioux. “But I have to credit their goalie Kyle Gauvin because he came out of the net and shut us down. That was also the first full game that Josh Turbide had played outside halfback. He’s usually on defense, but he switched with Trevor Newman, who did a great job.”
Mountain Valley came back with vengeance and pressured the offensive zone throughout the second half. Josh Rainey centered a corner kick and Dirigo's Cody St. Germain tried heading the ball out but Simon Jensen drilled a shot past Dirigo goalie Caleb Turner (eight saves), with 28:41 remaining in the second half.
“That’s why a soccer game is 80 minutes and not 79 and a half,” said MV coach Jarrod Dumas. “Dirigo outplayed us and deserved to win, but I’m quite proud of my guys for fighting back. We even had a chance to tie it with 1:30 left.”
A shot by Cory Carlson, who had rushed in alone, failed to hit the net. Frost scored following the opening tap.
Mountain Valley striker Robin Baxmann (injured foot) was unable to play. Cougar defenders Jeremy Briggs, Newman, Brian Volkernick and Garret Carver were all very busy.