Boys’ Soccer: Saints storm past Rebels

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AUBURN — St. Dominic Academy is technically the No. 2 seed in the Western Class C boys’ soccer playoffs.

While the Saints waited out a one-day rain delay, out-of-town results essentially changed that two to a one.

St. Dom’s showed Thursday why that’s bad news for the rest of the region, routing No. 7 Telstar, 6-0, in a quarterfinal that was never in doubt after the first three minutes.

Jack Erickson led the onslaught with three goals for St. Dom’s (13-1-1), which hosts No. 3 Waynflete (11-1-2) at 1 p.m. Saturday in the semifinals.

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Should the Saints advance to the sectional final, that will be played here, as well, on Wednesday. St. Dom’s is the top-ranked surviving team after North Yarmouth Academy toppled No. 1 seed and Mountain Valley Conference champion Wiscasset in overtime Wednesday.

“We like being here. We play better here,” Erickson said. “We practice here every day.”

Telstar (8-5-2) lost only 2-0 to St. Dom’s at home in Bethel during the MVC season.

Deeper, more experienced in the postseason and quicker to the ball, St. Dom’s used every square inch of its more spacious quarters and controlled play throughout.

“It’s just comforting to us,” said St. Dom’s coach Matt Erickson. “We like the space on the field, and we try to utilize the space on the field.”

Kyle Hargreaves, Alex Parker and Will Desmarais each added a goal for St. Dom’s, which seeks its third Class C state title in four years.

The Saints pounced early and often in each half, taking a 3-0 lead by the 18th minute.

That cushion stood until after intermission, when St. Dom’s connected three times in the first 11 minutes, allowing its starters to become spectators for the duration.

“We knew we wanted to get started early, and honestly the first three minutes we came out a little flat,” Jack Erickson said. “We got a goal early, but our overall play wasn’t great. We got that quick one and started to settle in and went from there.”

Erickson provided that comfort zone off a direct kick from 20 yards at the 3:37 mark.

Hargreaves was next in line, connecting from nearly the same spot on continuing action after a corner kick.

Desmarais set up the prettiest goal of the day, firing a long cross from right to left and putting Erickson in position for an off-balance header past Telstar goalkeeper Rick James.

“The first goal deflated us a little bit. We could see the 10 heads go down,” said Telstar coach Greg Luetje. “That was a little bit of a burner for us. They got a couple more pretty quick after that.”

Erickson completed the hat trick early in the second half, cashing in Brian Mathieu’s feed with a friendly deflection off the left post.

Next, Parker scored courtesy of Zak Johnson.

Desmarais then cleaned up the remnants after Parker hit the crossbar to account for the final score and hasten wholesale substitution.

“Alex and Jack’s collaboration was great. Those three players (Parker, Erickson and Desmarais) have the ability to interchange as they feel necessary, and that worked,” said Coach Erickson. “Normally Jack’s up top, but I thought his ability to distribute the ball from the midfield today was helpful. And Alex knows how to run off it and get a good shot.”

St. Dom’s outshot Telstar 22-1 in the first half and 45-7 overall.

James and Dan Vaughn combined for 16 saves in goal for the Rebels. Cam Hainey stopped six shots to protect the shutout for St. Dom’s, including a sliding denial of Elek Pew in the closing minutes.

Due to an injury and a red card assessed in its last regular-season game, Telstar dressed only three substitutes.

Vaughn and defensive standouts Pew, Josh Bellinger and Dusty Bailey are the Rebels’ four seniors.

“They never gave up,” Luetje said. “They played hard all game long. They led all season long. You can’t ask for better leaders.”

koakes@sunjournal.com

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