WISCASSET — Live by the sword, die by the sword. It was the offside trap that Wiscasset lived by in an early season Mountain Valley Conference girls’ soccer matchup with Lisbon on Thursday.
Four times, the Greyhounds were whistled for offsides in the early going. Then Lisbon figured out the strategy, and took advantage, reeling off a 3-1 win and a third consecutive victory.
“We understood defensively what they were doing and knew we had to watch that,” first-year Lisbon coach Jenniffer Perron said after her Greyhounds improved to 3-2. “It was the first time they had seen the trap and they figured it out. We will see the offsides trap again.”
Wiscasset (4-1), which dropped its first game this season, seemed to be a step behind Lisbon throughout the first half.
“We weren’t winning 50-50 balls, and their speed was very good,” said Wiscasset coach Duane Goud, whose Wolverines visit Oak Hill on Monday at 4 p.m.
Neither team generated a solid scoring chance through the first 20 minutes. Perron had Destiney Deschaines ready to enter the game, but the play went on for nearly 10 minutes before the freshman was able to join the fray on a Lisbon throw-in.
Just 30 seconds later, Deschaines timed her run perfectly to beat the Wolverine trap, gathered a pass from Carly Drischler and sent a shot past Wiscasset goaltender Lindsey Gordon for a 1-0 Greyhounds lead.
Lisbon outshot the Wolverines, 10-3, in the opening frame.
The aggression picked up after halftime, with both goaltenders tested in the first 10 minutes. Gordon dove to stop Kiley Merritt and kicked her leg out to deflect a shot by Emma Houle. At the other end, Lisbon netminder Anna Willey managed to get her hands on a Grace Webber try, and came out to stop Gwen Webber on a mini breakaway.
“We needed to play our game and we knew that we could compete with Lisbon,” Goud said.
The Greyhounds went for an insurance goal and found it off the foot of Houle. Again Lisbon beat Wiscasset’s trap, with Merritt chipping a pass ahead to Houle, who blasted a shot past the diving Gordon with 22:07 remaining.
“We worked hard and did we did in practice in the game today,” said Merritt, who had two assists.
“We came out here tonight and had to turn it on, push and be everywhere. We took what we have been working on so hard in practice and brought it out here today,” Perron said.
Wiscasset didn’t quit. Vanessa Dunn chipped home a goal with 17:12 left, and the Wolverines forced Willey to come up with three key stops down the stretch.
Lisbon put the game away with 55.9 seconds remaining when Giana Russo cleaned up a Merritt rebound to complete the Greyhound victory.
Perron discussed how her team has stuck together after opening the campaign with a pair of setbacks.
“For us, we were off our game for some reason when we faced our rival Oak Hill, then against Spruce the same thing,” Perron said. “Since then we have played our game and worked hard.”
“We weren’t working together those first couple games. Now we are and it is so much better,” Merritt said.
Goud felt Lisbon’s speed was difficult for his team to handle.
“They run their lanes well and passed the ball well. We had some spots that we weren’t aggressive. Some nights we have it. Some nights we just don’t,” Goud said.
Lisbon, which hosts Carrabec on Monday at 4 p.m., held a 21-11 shot advantage and a 5-2 edge in corner kicks. Willey finished with eight saves, while Gordon turned away 10 for Wiscasset.