DIXFIELD – The Dirigo Cougars didn’t waste any time taking care of business in an Mountain Valley Conference girls’ soccer game Thursday afternoon.

The Cougars took advantage of limited opportunities, and it turned out to be enough.

Senior tri-captain Katie Hutchinson converted a set play from Katherine Gagne midway through the first half and then received several solid efforts in a 1-0 win against Lisbon at sun-drenched Harlow Park.

It was an intriguing rematch because the teams had tied 0-0 last month.

Dirigo (8-1-2) earned a strong hold on the No. 2 ranking in Class C Heal points.

“We knew what we needed to do,” Gagne said. “This game meant a lot because we had tied Lisbon before, and a win would give us their Heal points. We were able to do that.”

Dirigo had taken control early on and that pressure eventually led to the scoring play. A corner was awarded and Gagne booted the ball high toward the center of the circle. Hutchinson, who had her back to the net, turned and wind-milled a kick past Lisbon goalie Samantha Purcell, in to the right corner. The Cougars led with 18:48 remaining in the first half

“(Team) came out with a lot of intensity today,” Gagne said. “That was a key for us. On the corner kick, I needed to get the ball high in the air and hopefully Katie or some one else could put it on the goal.”

Despite the Cougars’ domination in the entire first half, they still only led by one goal. Class B Lisbon (5-4-2) was a play away from changing the flow of the game, but it never materialized. The sixth-ranked Greyhounds were unable to break away from the Cougars’ midfield with Shannon Daley and Megan Russell.

“Dirigo just beat us to the ball,” Lisbon coach Claude Rioux said. “They outplayed us in the first half, but I felt that we had more chances in the second half. We added another striker and used a 4-4-3 formation, but we’ve had trouble scoring goals. We have five sophomores and a freshman on the field.”

Dirigo defenders Carrie Jamison, freshman Tricia Turner and Brittany Palmer consistently stepped up to the challenge.

The best Lisbon threat resulted from an Ashley Mason somersault throw-in. The ball was lofted toward Kristin Fairbanks, but Cougar goalie Lynette Bryant (four saves) cradled it.

Lisbon Ashley Beaulieu (who played with a cast on her wrist) and Sierra Guay hustled, but Dirigo had too much depth with halfbacks Erika St. Pierre, Brianna Elliot, Amy Gould and Jazmine Jacques.

“We controlled the center of the field,” coach Art Chamberlin said. “Lisbon has a strong defense, but I felt if we could match them, it could allow our forwards to get going. The midfield and defense made a difference for us.”


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