BETHEL — Senior Amanda Wiley scored two goals in the second half and the Rebels’ defense, led by fullback Mariah Bundy, maintained control throughout the game as No. 2 Telstar upended No. 3 Livermore Falls 3-0 Wednesday to advance to the Western Class C regional final, scheduled for Saturday at Scarborough High School.

Telstar (16-0) entered the game determined to overcome the common obstacle of beating an opponent for the third time in a season.

“At halftime, we talked about staying positive,” Telstar coach Gail Wight said. “They had dominated the first half, but they didn’t have any goals to show for it. The girls tend to get down on themselves and they needed to play relaxed and be focused on the big picture.”

The Rebels, who will play North Yarmouth Academy on Saturday, heeded the message and attacked. A drive from the top of the circle caromed off a stick to Wiley, who drilled the ball in to the cage 2:48 in to the second half. Wiley had started the play by intercepting the ball on the left wing, earning a penalty corner.

Less than two minutes later, Kayla Merrill was on the doorstep and scored on a rebound to give Telstar a 2-0 lead. T.J. Cowin had blasted a shot that Livermore Falls goalie Caylee Morris (seven saves) kicked to the side.

“This team has really bonded together,” Wiley said. “Our passing was good and we had (a purpose). We approached this game being afraid of losing, so every one put forth a little more effort.”

Livermore Falls, who concludes its season at 11-5, tried a dump and run strategy and was unable to maintain as consistent offense. Shots by Kathryn Ventrella, Sam Greenwood, Hannah Therrien and Erin Gats failed to find a way through the maze of players. Telstar midfielder Emma Davis stopped the ball on several occasions and halfbacks Sam Largess and Sarah Averill each stepped up. Averill broke-up a one on one in the second half. Rebels goalie Sam Tibbetts four saves to record the shutout.

“There are no excuses to be made,” Livermore Falls coach Julia Parker said. “I’m not taking anything away from this team, we had a great season. We left it all on the field, but Telstar has some strong players.”

Wiley scored on a Jamie Steven assist with 11 minutes left to play. The Rebels went on the offensive early in the first half with strong drives and produced several shots on goal, which was a tell-tail sign of things to come. This dominance was aided by a strong passing game which had the Andies defense and sweeper Micaela Baron scrambling. A goal by Steven was waved off because the referee said play had continued after the ball had gone out of bounds.

“Our defense was strong,” Bundy said. “We worked better going man-to-man rather than using a zone. We were able to clear a lot of balls, but communication is the key.”


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