DIXFIELD —Senior forward Emily Chase answered the call with a goal in each half and the Dirigo’s defense rose to the challenge in a 2-0 victory against arch rival Mountain Valley in a girls’ soccer game Saturday on homecoming weekend.

A battle was anticipated between the nearby rivals, but it never materialized between the teams who are going in opposite directions. Class C Dirigo (5-5) has shut out its last three opponents, while Class B Mountain Valley (4-3-3) haas lost three games in a row. The Falcons had beat Dirigo 3-2 in Rumford, last month.

“The team is bonding,” Dirigo senior Cassie Moretto said. “Earlier in the season, the team didn’t get along on the field because the older and younger players didn’t know each other. We’ve gotten together and are on (same page) now.”

The action went back and forth with both teams having limited opportunities. Finally, Dirigo put the ball in the circle and Moretto passed it ahead to Chase. Falcon goalie Kaitlin Armstrong (five saves) took one step forward, but Chase booted the ball into the far corner of the goal, with 5:58 left in the first half.

Mountain Valley tried to get things going in the second half, but numerous crossing passes harmlessly drifted by. Sissy Jakabson had a clean shot, but it went over the cross bar. Shots by Ellen and Kate Thorne, Chrissy Briggs and Jamaica Ford also failed to find a home.

“We just didn’t play our game,” Mountain Valley coach Kris Tyler said. “I adjusted the offense by pushing a player up and changed to a 4-3-3 formation. This is a tough transition for the team after a good start. A couple players — Samantha Cummings and McKenzie Paterson — are out with injuries and the girls haven’t been getting good production.”

Dirigo struck again for a two-goal lead when Chase kicked the ball into the far corner of the net seven minutes in to the second half. Jane Hebert dug the ball out of the left side and advanced it to Chase.

The Cougars received outstanding play defensively from Kristen Blood, Ambyr Wilson, Kayla Gaudin, Mariah Larson and Kym Dolloff. Freshman Natasha DeRoche (four saves) has not been scored on, since being inserted in goal three games ago.

 “This was a good game for us,” Dirigo coach Art Chamberlin said. “We needed it, and the girl’s have continued to respond well to having Natasha in goal.”

Mountain Valley was awarded eight corners in the second half, but failed to get a quality shot on goal.

“We picked up our intensity in the second half,” Turner said “Our passes were better and we went after the ball.”

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