WATERVILLE — Whether it was the artificial turf at Thomas College, or the rain coming down in hard spurts, a near two-minute stretch of the first half doomed the Lisbon High School boys soccer team in its Class C South quarterfinal game on Thursday against Hall-Dale.
Goals by Josh Nadeau and Beaux Vachon 1:39 apart were enough as the third-seeded Bulldogs downed No. 6 Lisbon, 3-0.
Hall-Dale hosts seventh-seeded Traip Academy in the semifinals after the Raiders ousted No. 2 Monmouth Academy, 2-1, earlier Thursday at Kents Hill.
Lisbon senior goaltender Jonah Sautter did his part in keeping his Greyhounds in the game, turning aside 20 shots, including several point-blank Hall-Dale tries.
However, as Sautter said after the game, it was those first two goals that he will think of most. The first from Nadeau came off a free kick, with his shot traveling through several bodies and past a screened Sautter with 25:11 left in the first half.
Vachon’s goal came off a Nadeau corner kick, with the ball slipping through Sautter’s wet gloves before deflecting into the cage.
“When people score on me, credit to them,” Sautter said. “Hall-Dale is a great team. But when there are goals like that, not great goals that you can save, that is frustrating.”
“He was screened on the first one, and it was hard to see with the weather, and the second goal was a miscommunication,” Lisbon coach Dan Sylvester said. “They were two simple goals that went it. But those things happen in soccer. Hats off to my guys, they didn’t back off and kept battling away. Jonah played phenomenal.”
The Bulldogs didn’t slow down, continuing to pressure the Lisbon defense of Dylan George, Kayne Wentzhiemer, Glenn Hill and Nick Austin. Hall-Dale outshot the Greyhounds, 31-3.
However, the defensive foursome stood tall, and with Sautter stopping the first 13 shots he saw in the second half, the Greyhounds stayed in the game.
“After their second goal, there were a couple minutes there that I was frustrated,” Sautter said. “At halftime we got ourselves together, and we knew that we had nothing to lose. Whether we lost three, four, five to nothing, we came out, played hard, and the defense played solid in keeping it 2-0. We played well.”
“We talked about being down 2-0, and knew they would go for that third goal. If we could get one, you never know. We were trying to do the right things, but it was the pace of the turf that kept us from finding offense,” Sylvester said.
Hall-Dale finally scored its third goal as Akira Warren sent a pass to Nadeau, who one-timed a shot inside the right post with 2:27 remaining.
A big advantage for the Bulldogs came off corner kicks. Hall-Dale attempted 15, and though 14 failed to lead to a goal, the pressure the Bulldogs mounted served to keep Lisbon pinned in its defensive zone throughout the game.
“We wanted to win the balls and get those second chances. That is the only way to beat Jonah. We practice the corner kick every day. It was important for us,” said Nadeau.
Greyhound seniors Sautter, Steve Martin, George, Hill, Ben LeClair, Wentzhiemer and Nick Austin played their final soccer game as the Greyhounds finished 8-5-2.