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Cougar girls' offense falls silent
DIXFIELD -- There are peaks and valleys endured during a season and the Dirigo girls' soccer team has experienced it first hand.
A slow start had put the Lady Cougars on their heels and Wiscasset took full advantage by scoring three goals in the first half en route to a 4-0 win at sunny Harlow Park.
Dirigo had started out with two shutout wins, but then has lost four straight as the offense fell silent.
A win over Telstar followed, but against Wiscasset, Dirigo was unable to curtail the speed and offense thrust that was evident early on.
'' Wiscasset is a very physical team,'' said Cougar coach Sara Thurston. '' They won more of the 50-50 balls in the midfield than we did.''
The Cougars and held their own throughout the latter stages of the second half.
They were moving the ball toward the offensive zone against Wiscasset as Summer Keim and Sabrina Daoud each had centering passes, but there was no finishing touches. Megan Bradbury drilled a free kick from 20 yards out, but the ball bounced off the right post and the defense cleared it away.
The Cougars Lindsy Crutchfield had a chance on a rush but a defender tripped her and a penalty shot was awarded with 4:59 left to play. Keim lined up and kicked the along the ground, but Wiscasset goalie Kayla Gordon (3 saves) dove and knocked the ball outside the post. Keim rushed in for the rebound, but the goalie cradled the ball.
The Cougars proved to be their own worst enemy by standing back and not anticipating the direction of the ball.
Wiscasset had possession of the ball and was getting by Cougar defenders Bryce Parent, Gabby Scott and Kylie Palmer. Dirigo goalie Mariah Lafleur (7 saves) tried smothering a shot by Sarah Hanley (hat trick), but was unable to secure the ball and it rolled into the back of the net.
Melissa Velazquez (exchange student), Destiny Newton and Katlin Morang contributed in the midfield.
''We've been spending a lot of time this season changing some positions, and styles of play from what the girls have
always known. As soon as we get some confidence in those skills and new positions, we'll give some teams a run for their money,'' said Thurston.