RUMFORD — Junior Cam Poisson scored a pair of goals and assisted on the game-winner and the Lisbon defense remained tight in a 3-0 shutout over revenge-minded Mountain Valley on senior night at chilly Chet Bulger Field.
Thursday’s matchup was important because it was the final opportunity for each team to try and earn a home playoff game in their respective classifications. Mountain Valley (8-3-3) is ranked fifth in Class B South.
Lisbon (8-3-2), ranked fifth in Class C Heal points, was up for the challenge and applied pressure early. That led to Poisson kicking the ball out to Noah Austin on a full sprint, and Austin flew past a defender and kicked a 25-yard blast past Falcons goalie Jacob Rainey with 23:55 remaining in the first half.
“Mountain Valley came out and wanted to avenge the loss to us,” Poisson said. “I just think that we were ready for them. (Communication) has been a strength of ours all season long. It certainly helps when every one is talking to each other out on the field. It’s nice to know when some one is near you, so you don’t have to turn and look.”
The Lisbon defense — Dylan George, Kayne Wentzhiemer and Glenn Hill — cleared away numerous balls and goalie Jonah Sautter (nine saves), was the anchor. The Falcons’ best opportunities came when Seth Peaslee’s free kick hit the far right post, and when Jorge Gutierrez’s shot was cradled by Sautter.
“Entering the game we knew we needed to mark up (Peaslee and Espen Lamberg),” Lisbon coach Dan Sylvester said. “We are normally a slow-starting team. We used a 4-4-2 formation in the first half, and the idea was to get one in.”
Mountain Valley was still on target at halftime, facing only a one-goal deficit. The Falcons needed to prevent the Greyhounds from getting isolation on the defense and spread the field. Instead, Lisbon went on the attack and advanced the ball in to the zone.
Poisson redirected a ball past Rainey, in the center. DJ Douglass assisted on the corner kick 10:27 into second half.
“In soccer, that second goal is so important,”Sylvester, who switched Lisbon to a 4-5-1 in second half, said. “We were able to get shots off and then score off a corner, which was nice too see.”
Mountain Valley picked the pace and produced several chances , but couldn’t convert. Will Sorensen, Jacob Sinclair, Lamberg and Gutierrez were unable to solve the Lisbon defense.
“We did not play the way we are capable of playing,” Mountain Valley coach JT Taylor said. “In the second half, we switched things around and I moved Garrett (Garbarini) up to midfield. We tried spreading the field, but the Lisbon defense was just to strong.”
The Greyhounds scored again when Poisson converted an Austin pass.
“If there is a silver lining,” Taylor said, “my guys never quit, because they battled right up to the end.”
Noah Austin, left, of Lisbon and Fischer Cormier of Mountain Valley battle for the ball during the first half in Rumford on Thursday.
Jorge Gutierrez of Mountain Valley controls the ball while being defended by Dylan George, left, and Jacob George of Lisbon during the first half in Rumford on Thursday.
Glenn Hill of Lisbon holds back Cameron Gallant of Mountain Valley during the first half in Rumford on Thursday.
Seth Peaslee, left, of Mountain Valley and DJ Douglass of Lisbon battle for the ball during the first half in Rumford on Thursday.
Jacob Sinclair of Mountain Valley controls the ball in front of Dylan George of Lisbon during the first half in Rumford on Thursday.