FARMINGTON — Mt. Blue girls’ soccer coach Fred Conlogue’s halftime chat set his Cougars straight and perhaps inspired senior forwards Jocelyn Daggett and Sierra Keim.
The pair took matters into their own hands and each scored second-half goals, steering the Cougars to a 2-0 win over the Cony Rams and providing Mt. Blue (1-3) with its first soccer victory of the season Tuesday.
“Their speed is really key for us. It was Daggett’s first game back so it is nice to have her back,” said Conlogue, who pointed out Daggett was injured earlier in the season.
After a first half where the Rams (0-4) held their own and the Cougars appeared complacent, Mt. Blue got its act together in a hurry and dominated the second half.
“We came alive (in the second half),” Conlogue said. “We had a good talk at halftime. Didn’t really make any adjustments. Just talked about playing soccer, playing with some passion, attacking the ball, solid hits — and we definitely did that in the second half.
“I felt the forwards were getting deeper into their defensive end and allowed us to be able to win the next ball that came out and keep it back in there. It was nice to get the win.
Confidence was high for the Cougars, who looked like a new team and put the Rams on the defensive in the second quarter.
Mt. Blue’s second-half exploits allowed Daggett, a team captain, to score at the 36:10 mark. Her high shot bounced off the bottom of the cross bar and slammed off the ground and tumbled into the net. Keim got the assist on the play.
In a game that had all the appearances of going overtime, the Cougars could rest easy for the moment.
Keim sealed Cony’s fate when she drilled a shot from 30 yards out into the left corner of the net for her unassisted goal with 6:45 left in the game.
The Rams kept pressing, though, but the Cougars didn’t give an inch the rest of the way.
Mt. Blue outshot Cony 21-5 and held the advantage in corners, 10-4.
“That 40 minutes was I think by far the best 40 minutes we had since we started over the summer with our summer program,” Cony coach Jeff Hersey said. “We have like 34 girls in the program…we’ve slowly been getting kids back from injuries.
“We are pretty darn close to full strength right now, Again that first half, I thought we did a good job bottling them up in their own end for pretty much for 40 minutes.”
Cony’s goalie Kiara Henry was tough to get around for most of the game.
“She’s a freshman. She has never played soccer in her life,” Hersey said. “She played football in the youth program in Augusta
“And I told her, ‘With your size, I am going to throw you net.’ She’s like, ‘Cool.’”
Henry made 12 saves in the game.