Falcons rise over Phoenix
RUMFORD -- In a battle of mill towns, it was Mountain Valley proved it had plenty of gas left in a boys' soccer contest.
The Falcons experienced the highs throughout the contest and their total team performance aid off. Josh Rainey scored two goals in the first half, including the eventual game winner with sheer skill in a 2-1 upset against Spruce Mountain at Chet Bulger Field.
''We knew entering the game that we needed it,'' said Rainey, who opened the scoring with a drive from the right that found the short side with 16:34 remaining in half. ''Spruce is worth a lot of Heal Points so winning was big.'' A lack of scoring has bewildered the Falcons throughout the first half of the season. While it is being addressed, however, against the Phoenix, it was the Falcons who created chances early and often.. Coach Todd Papianou said the team's focus is on developing the skill to properly cross the ball in and identify the players that posses that skill. Finishing well has been frustrating this year, largely because players are hitting the ball wide and over the net, when a simple tap or push is needed.
On the winning play, Andrew Phelps controlled the ball on the left side of the net and passed across to Rainey. The senior stopped the ball, pivoted and used his left foot to kick the ball into the net.
''The team played great today,'' saidRainey said. ''We've been working on our crossing passes and although the season is half over. I feel that our team is coming together.'' MV started strong which created several chances. Austin Glover shot from the right side, Alex Witas was wide left, and exchange student Niklas Dupont set up Andrew Phelps.
Spruce responded less than one minute after MV led 2-0. Greg Whitney received an advancing pass and booted it by Falcon goalie Dakota Jacques (eight saves).
The defense was equally stout, with senior stopper Garret Carver, junior Mike Theriault and so. Jared Arsenault and Chris Bourret.
"There was no let up,” said Papianou, crediting a captain's practice and the team's recommitment. “Spruce Mountain was flat and then when Pat Ryan, who made 12 interceptions went out. That was the game.”
Mountain Valley's midfield dug out loose balls by Tucker Phelps, Shawn Bennett, Brad Marshal, Tucker Rowland, (ES) Yanik Hosvelt and Nate Buotte.