LIVERMORE FALLS —Senior Alex Milledge netted a pair of goals — his team's first and last of the afternoon — and Hunter Ross and Cody St. Germain added one each to lift Dirigo to a 4-0 win over Livermore Falls on Wednesday in a Mountain Valley Conference boys' soccer game.
Dirigo (5-1) has changed its offensive philosophy this season and is on a four-game win steak. Livermore Falls (3-3) had scored 21 goals in its three previous games, and was confident its offense could produce.
The Cougars won out, in part by extending the field, and scored two goals in the first half. Milledge opened things up when he scored from more than 30 yards out on a free kick just 13 minutes in to the game. The ball was set up on the left side and Milledge booted a high, arcing shot that drifted over the outstretched arms of goalie Ethan Hutchins (14 saves) and settled in to the right corner of the net.
"We had changed our offensive format today," Dirigo coach Jack Rioux said. "It helped because what we wanted to do was get the ball and (one touch) it through to Hunter Ross. We just need to continue to go after the ball."
The strategy worked well, and the Cougars earned several breakaways.
The second scoring play began when Josh Turbide intercepted a pass and booted the ball ahead 35-yards to Ross. The diminutive Ross deked Spencer Osgood and went one-on-one with Hutchins, who had rushed out to cut down the angle. Ross' low shot found the right corner with 12:07 remaining in the first half.
Livermore Falls tried to advance the ball in to the offensive zone all game. At one point, sophomores Pat Ryan and Brazilian exchange student Henry Seideler dribbled through the Dirigo defense. Ryan set up Zach Vigue, but his blast was cradled by Dirigo goalie Caleb Turner (12 saves).
"We wanted to control the ball," Livermore Falls coach Bill Acriteli said. "Dirigo was sending the ball ahead and we knew it. This (game) was frustrating because it wasn’t the team's best effort. The kids didn’t play with enough heart out there, but they are better than that. We need to start putting things together and it begins against Telstar on Friday."
Livermore Falls always seemed to be a step behind Dirigo on Wednesday and was unable to mount a consistent attack. A few adjustments saw the Andies force the issue in the first 11 minutes of the second half. Jake Freeman and each of the Ryans had shots, but Turner was up to the task.
"We were flat in the beginning of the second half," Turbide said. "Our defensive basically stayed the same. But, this was a big game and we took care of business."
St. Germain and Milledge each scored unassisted goals to finish out the scoring in second half.