SOUTH PARIS – Junior striker Kari Pelletier made sure that Senior Night lingered a little bit longer for the Oxford Hills girls’ soccer team on Wednesday.

The Vikings battled Erskine to a hard-fought 1-1 tie through 80 minutes of regulation and two overtime sessions after Pelletier’s goal with 12:14 remaining in the second forced the extra periods.

The Eagles held the only lead in the game, and it was short-lived, lasting just 3:32 before Pelletier’s goal knotted the score.

“We dealt with a similar situation about halfway through this year, where we had to come back twice against Edward Little,” said Oxford Hills coach Kyle Morey. “I really feel that this team is a team. When they get down, they used to break apart in their communication. Now, they just have that much more urgency to tie it up and hopefully win the game.

Erskine coach John Hamilton wasn’t surprised with the outcome.

“Oxford Hills is real good team, well-coached, and they play hard,” said Hamilton. “Every game we play against them, it ends up being tied or a one-goal game.”

The Eagles (11-2-1), seeded fourth in the latest Heal point standings, were aggressive in gathering loose balls and had the majority of the scoring chances in the game, outshooting the Vikings 15-7. Still, Mariah Gleaton’s redirect of a goal-line pass by Arian Kumlangngam was the only shot to elude Oxford Hills goaltender Samantha Rivers.

Kumlangngam brought the ball towards the middle of the field from the right corner and laced a pass to Gleaton right in front of the goal. Gleaton’s shot caught Rivers in motion, the junior keeper slipping down with the ball out of reach.

Pelletier struck back on a great individual effort, gathering up the ball and streaking through the Eagle fullbacks to the front of the net. Erskine goalie Ericka Mallery ran out to cut down the shooting angle, and Pelletier dribbled a soft shot just inside the near post.

Rivers saved her biggest stops for the second half. At one point during the final 10 minutes of the regulation, Rivers pushed three consecutive Erskine shots earmarked for the top of the net over the crossbar to force corner kicks.

“We were getting the ball from the midfield to our forwards and getting chances,” said Hamilton. “We had some great opportunities late in the second half, and their goalie made some outstanding saves.”

The two teams traded momentum in the overtime periods, with the Vikings applying most of the pressure in the first overtime. The Eagles carried the play to Oxford Hills in the second extra frame.

Now, with the regular season over for both teams, the 10th-ranked Vikings will have to wait to see where their playoff road will take them. With the tie against the higher-ranked Eagles, Morey hopes to move up a slot to the ninth seed and host Mt. Blue next Tuesday. Otherwise, his team will likely be traveling to Farmington to play the Cougars.

“I’m about 90 percent sure we’ll play Mt. Blue. They’re a formidible opponent that I’ve had the opportunity to see, but that we don’t play during the year,” said Morey. “We’ve won eight out of our last eleven and tied this game, though, which we feel makes us as good as any team in the KVAC going into the playoffs.”

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