FARMINGDALE — Having Konnor Longfellow as a soccer teammate is a faith-building exercise.

Hall-Dale fullbacks and midfielders know that they have the freedom to boot the ball up the field even when Longfellow’s white jersey is merely a blur in the corner of their eyes, and the opponent’s colors are the only ones they can actually see.

Serve it up, and the senior striker will use his instincts and closing speed to go get it. Longfellow did that twice Saturday afternoon, cashing second-half feeds from Josh Peterson and Nat Crocker into goals and helping undefeated No. 1 Hall-Dale shake MVC rival No. 4 St. Dom’s, 2-0, in a Western Class C semifinal.

“Longfellow is a great player. He saw the mistake. He took care of it and that was it,” St. Dom’s coach Marty Bressler said. “I think it was more mentally where we didn’t close down the space as quickly as we should have. Longfellow is a sprinter. He doesn’t need a lot of space to put it through, and by then it was too late.”

The game was even as could be in every statistical and intangible category until Longfellow’s goal with 29:48 remaining. He also provided the insurance with 9:07 left.

Hall-Dale (17-0) will face the winner of Saturday night’s clash between No. 2 Maranacook and No. 3 North Yarmouth Academy. The Bulldogs beat the Saints (13-3-1) for the third time this season, this one piggybacking a close regular-season verdict and a one-sided conference championship contest.

“We just had to be confident,” said Longfellow, who continues to stretch out his school record for most goals in a season. “The first game was kind of a nail-biter, 1-0. MVCs was 4-1. You expect a team that’s been beaten twice in a row to come out fired up and not want to get beat again.”

As might have been expected from two such familiar foes, the series finale turned into a chess match.

In the first half, St. Dom’s used Chase Hainey and Matt Chasse to double-team Longfellow and controlled the edges of the field to perfection with its possession game. Justin Curtis and Calvin Stewart also helped tighten the defensive clamps.

Hall-Dale switched up its own formation at halftime, changing some defensive responsibilities and relocating Longfellow to the center of the field.

“The first five or 10 minutes of the second half, we started to play our game,” Hall-Dale coach Andy Haskell said. “The chances started coming. We played real well in the second half. Even though we played very defensive-minded, by changing our defensive scheme it created more offensive opportunities.”

One of those transitions was a through-ball from Peterson. Longfellow chased it down about 35 yards from the cage and split two St. Dom’s defenders.

Saints goalkeeper Ben Sawyer did the only thing he could do, which was charge to the edge of the box and try to deflect the shot at the point of attack. Longfellow fired it past him into the lower right corner.

“This game we tried a different formation and it really worked,” Bressler said. “One mistake and it cost us, and that’s all it is with playoff soccer. They’re a great team. They’re one of the few teams that you really have to plan for.”

Crocker took advantage of a turnover just on Hall-Dale’s side of midfield to set up the second goal. He found Longfellow all alone for the finish.

St. Dom’s owned a slim 7-6 edge in shots on the goal at the half.

Haskell and the Bulldogs felt that the officials missed a hand ball in the box, costing them a penalty shot. But the soccer gods returned the favor to the hosts when Cam Stewart’s brilliant, bending bid from 35 yards slammed off the right post with 4:10 left.

Sawyer also made a point-blank stop on Ryan Sinclair for one of his seven saves in the game.

“(Longfellow) is a tough matchup,” Haskell said. “I thought we kind of wore them down in the second half. It was solid team play.”

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