AUBURN — The reigning Class C champion boys’ soccer team from St. Dominic Academy doesn’t usually need halftime wake-up calls like it did Wednesday afternoon.

And that probably ensures that the Saints will get another one when the final school bell rings Thursday.

“We’re going to bring the track shoes to practice tomorrow,” said St. Dom’s coach Matt Erickson, not making any secret of the consequences.

Other teams in the Mountain Valley Conference would be satisfied with a 3-1 victory over Lisbon, a strong Class B opponent.

As for the Saints, there’s no question it was more of a grind than they believe it should have been.

“We were outplaying ourselves,” said senior tri-captain Alex Parker. “We were knocking the ball around but not turning it into any real chances.”


Lisbon (3-2) led unbeaten St. Dom’s (4-0) until the final 30 seconds before halftime, when Parker was hauled down by two Greyhounds while trying to uncork a wild shot in front of Lisbon goalkeeper Shane Tanguay.

The Saints were awarded a penalty shot. Jack Erickson punched it past Tanguay for the tying tally.

“We had good ball movement, but we didn’t have any goals,” Parker said. “To get that first one right before the half was a real boost for us. It gave us confidence.”

That momentum and a rapidly mounting advantage in shots on goal carried St. Dom’s through the second half.

Parker put the Saints in front near the 10-minute mark, cashing in a pretty pass from Erickson after a quick change of possession in the Lisbon defensive zone.

Erickson chipped the ball over the head of a Lisbon defender to Parker, who flagged it down and popped it perfectly over Tanguay’s reach.


“The first half was the worst I’ve seen my team play,” coach Erickson said. “They did not play their style. They were flat. We had a nice chat a halftime.”

Persistence paid for the brother combination of Zak and Kurt Johnson in the form of an insurance goal at 14:27.

Kurt, a senior, fired a shot from about 20 yards that missed to the right of the cage.

Both teams seemed to let up, thinking the ball would sail out of bounds, but sophomore Zak scooped it up and scored from a tough angle.

St. Dom’s outshot Lisbon 13-2 in the first half and 30-5 overall, but the Greyhounds cashed in with their only real opportunity to grab the early lead.

With a strong wind affecting play at both ends, the breeze gave Ryan Fairbanks’ right-to-left boot from 20 yards a little extra boost. Junior goalie Cam Hainey tried to time his leap but could only get his fingertips on it as it sailed into the net.


“That PK hurt us a little bit, but that’s the way it goes. The game changes,” said Lisbon coach Dan Sylvester. “We haven’t typically been a first-half team this year,  and we played very well. I didn’t know how we were going to respond.”

Lisbon used Joe Osmond to mark up Parker and Morgan Reeves to guard Erickson in the first half, slowing the Saints’ progress for a spell.

Kyle Hargreaves, Chris Finley, D.J. Curtis and Brian Mathieu were generally solid in the defensive end for St. Dom’s, denying the Greyhounds any additional opportunities.

“This was good in a way. I like to see them in that position (being down a goal), because you see that more in the playoffs,” coach Erickson said. “We made a ton of mistakes, and they know the mistakes they made. So we’ll revisit today and say, ‘Remember when?’ “

Tanguay made 14 saves for Lisbon, including a diving stop of another Erickson penalty kick in the second half.

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