Oak Hill’s Lindsey Weeks, right, and Wiscasset’s Lily Souza both eye a loose ball during the Raiders’ 4-1 win in Wales on Monday.
WALES — Sydney Drew broke Wiscasset’s offsides trap and Julia Ahlberg made sure a momentum-shifting shot didn’t break the goal line in Oak Hill’s 4-1 MVC girls’ soccer victory Monday at Fairchild Field.
“Their offside trap, we had more offsides calls today than we’ve had probably all season so far,” Oak Hill coach Jeremy Young said. “So credit to them (for) pulling and being a unit on defense. It’s a good look that we haven’t seen much this season.”
“At the beginning of the game I thought we really did well with the defense as far as pulling them up and catching them in that offsides trap,” Wiscasset coach Duane Goud said.
It took a while for the Raiders (6-0) to get their attack going against the Wolverines’ trap. It also took Drew, a senior, knowing what to do when the ball got to her feet.
She was on the giving end 10 minutes in, feeding ahead to Abriana Deslauriers, who broke through the Wiscasset (4-2) back line and sent a shot past Wolverines goalie Lindsey Gordon before tripping over the keeper.
“I saw that there was a lot of red (jerseys) in front of me, and I saw that (Abriana) was also kind of close to me, but I knew that she has some wheels, so if I could just poke it up past their defense she was gone,” Drew said.
Drew then kept the ball to herself for Oak Hill’s second goal five minutes later. It was the smart choice, because pass would have resulted in another offsides call. Instead, Drew used her own speed to get enough behind the defense to get an open shot on Gordon.
“Sydney will say that she wasn’t sure about them being offsides or not; she knew. She knew enough to keep it and see what happens,” Young said. “And I think sometimes you have a player who’s self-aware enough in the moment that can change the game, and we’re lucky enough to have a few of those.”
Ahlberg was another one of those players whose self-awareness benefited the Raiders.
The Wolverines trailed 3-1 with 12 minutes left, but had started to pull momentum their way. Grace Webber was able to get a shot past Oak Hill goalie Anna Dodge, and the deficit seemed destined to be sliced in half. But Ahlberg followed the shot, caught up to it and was able to clear it wide of the net before it went in.
“That was a good save on (her) part,” Goud said. “That’s huge because her head was right in it and she was paying attention to what was happening. It was very close.
“That was tough because I thought we had that one, and I think if we’d had that momentum we could have had a couple more chances, probably.”
Instead it was the Raiders who gave themselves some breathing room five minutes later. Britney Duchesneau’s free kick found its way to Rylea Swan, who sent a shot toward Gordon. Swan’s attempt was stopped, but Lydia Therrien was there to convert on the rebound.
Young said he wished soccer had hockey’s second assist, which he said would have gone to Duchesneau.
The Wolverines scored their only goal off a set piece as well. Webber’s corner kick from the right corner made its way behind Dodge, and Vanessa Dunn got to the ball in the box to convert on an open net.
Drew’s second goal came earlier in the second half, when she cut through the Wiscasset defense and beat Gordon with an open shot. She had chances at completing a hat trick, but wasn’t able to convert a third time.
“I wanted it really bad,” Drew said. “I’m so mad at myself for the end when I completely whiffed it wide to the right.”
Goud said his team also missed on chances that could have made the game closer.
“It’s just a matter of being able to make the small passes at the end and put it in the net,” Goud said. “We’re still working that out and getting our kicks so that they’re more usable. We’re not playing bad, but we just need to have those finishing touches.”
Oak Hill’s Sydney Drew, left, hustles to a loose ball ahead of Wiscasset’s Cara Viele (11) while Arie Mills (24) looks on during the Raiders’ 4-1 win in Wales on Monday.Oak Hill defender Julia Ahlberg, right, looks to clear the ball away while Wiscasset’s Eliza Paradis looks on during the Raiders’ 4-1 win in Wales on Monday.
Oak Hill’s Cassie Gauthier (32) holds off Wiscasset’s Lily Souza for possession of the ball during the Raiders’ 4-1 win in Wales on Monday.