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Saints edge Dirigo girls in OT
DIXFIELD -- The Dirigo girls’ soccer team put forth a strong effort in the Class C semifinal playoff game at windy Harlow Park on Friday, but it wasn't enough.
Dirigo had taken the Lead on a Lindsy Crutchfield's goal in the second half, but St. Doms regrouped and scored 31 seconds into overtime to upset the Cougars, 2-1.
Top-ranked Dirigo had beaten the Saints 2-0 for the first-time ever during the regular season.
Dirigo was awarded a direct kick and Kayla Gaudin sent in toward the middle of net and Natalie Bolduc kicked it off the cross bar. Michelle Morrison tried getting her head on the ball, but it continued to the right and Crutchfield tipped it into the net past St. Dom goalie Mary Caron. The Cougars a 1-0 lead with 16:01 remaining in the game.
“I switched some players around to match St. Dom's speed. It worked well,” said Dirigo coach Art Chamberlin. “I switched back to our standard 'D' after Lindsy scored, hoping to seal it at 1-0.”
Saint Dom’s had reverted back to their normal formation and added pressure. Dirigo goalie Natasha Deroche made two one-handed saves and the latter produced a corner. The ball bounced off a Cougar defender and a pair of St. Doms feet before Marley Byrne one timed it home with 8:18 left in regulation.
Dirigo had made some adjustments also.
“I was hoping to add pressure up with Gaudin all the way up on the line but she didn't get any chances there,” said Chamberlin. “They neutralized Bolduc better than any other defense has managed to. We needed to produce from somewhere else. (Paige) Murphy, (Aylssa) Wade, (Miranda) Shurtleff and (Addy), Fuller needed to get more involved.”
Dirigo had a strong presence defensively, with Bryce Parent, Ambyr Wilson and Mariah Larson. It was Larson who rotated back and cleared a ball that had bounced behind Deroche (five saves).
“This would have be Mariah Larsen's last game,” said Chamberlin, who was scheduled to have ankle surgery on Monday. “She carried the team defensively all season and if there is one senior I feel badly for, it would be her.”
In the end, it took an exceptional soccer play to put Dirigo away in overtime. The Saints controlled the tap and received a throw-in and Dayle Jordan used an acrobatic somersault to heave the directly to the center. Kayla McLellan redirected the ball into the net.