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Cougar girls beat Falcons, 5-1
DIXFIELD -- A steady dose of pressure can be effective and Dirigo certainly used it against Mountain Valley in a girls’ soccer contest played under the lights at Harlow Park.
There were numerous chances and underclassmen Megan Bradbury and Destiny Newton each scored goals in the first half as Dirigo proved to have too much in a 5-1 triumph. The game was in sharp contrast to last year, in the first-ever soccer game played at night, in Dixfield, when the two neighboring rivals battled to a scoreless tie.
"It was very important,"said Dirigo senior stopper Ambyr Wilson, regarding the Cougars' fast start. "We knew that we needed momentum because Mountain Valley is capable of scoring goals quickly."
There were several scoring opportunities as the Cougars pressured the offensive zone. This had backed the MV defense up and Darbi Brown and Autum Koch tried kicking the ball out. But Bradbury stopped it and kicked a high shot toward the right corner that eluded MV goalie Jenna Ploude (14 saves), three minutes and two seconds in. There was plenty of action before a chilly crowd, however the Cougars backchecked with Wilson, Sam Morse, Gretchen Bradbury and Bryce Parent in the backfield. Newton converted a pass from Megan Bradbury at 18:26.
"A big difference tonight was that we worked together as a team," said Wilson, who utilized summersault throw ins.
Less than two minutes later, Natalie Bolduc scored the first of her three goals on a lead pass by Kayla Gaudin.
Class B Mountain Valley settled down and Katie Puiia and Kaitlyn Virgn each had shots, but Dirigo goalie Tasha Deroche (seven saves) cradled them. Dirigo counter-attacked and Bolduc converted from Lindsy Crutchfield with 6:24 remaining in first half.
“We used a new lineup,” said Dirigo coach Art Chamberlin. “Kayla Gaudin was at center-halfback for the first time ever and did a good job, along with Michelle Morrison.”
Mountain Valley regrouped and dominated the second half. The ball-control paid off when Darbi Brown kicked it in to Brena Brown, who led Sarah Klein on a breakaway to beat Deroche on the short side at 1:08.
Bolduc completed the scoring with 1:47 left in the game.