Morton’s ability to stop Alicia Albert’s perfect pass on a dime and blast not one, not two, but three penalty corners into the cage breathed life into the Vikings and drained it from Edward Little on Thursday night.

The first goal tied it with 2.2 seconds remaining in the first half, and the second, less than a minute after intermission, gave the Vikings the lead for good in a 5-2 KVAC Class A triumph on senior night.

“We practice them almost every day, so it feels natural when we set up for it,” Morton said. “I know as long as I can drive it into the circle, one of my teammates will put it on for me.”

There were no deflections needed, and it’s hard to imagine what would have compelled anyone in a white uniform or a red one to stand in the way.

Each of Morton’s three goals was a laser from the left edge of the penalty circle.

“Today she was on. She does usually hit the ball that hard,” Oxford Hills coach Cindy Goddard said of Morton. “She is a pretty amazing player, actually. She has great eyes, and now she’s wanting to step up and not only be a passer but a go-to player. She’s willing to put a little more on her shoulders.”

Bailey Wood and Haley Wakefield, also juniors, each added a goal for Oxford Hills (6-5-2). Morton had a stick in both, using her strength in the midfield to help the Vikings take advantage of quick changes in possession.

Oxford Hills avenged a 2-0 loss to EL in the season-opener at Auburn.

“Once they got the lead, they wanted it more than we did,” EL coach Greg Perkins said. “Momentum shifted there, and it was hard to fight back, especially when they had beautiful corners.”

The Red Eddies (8-5) saw early signs that it would be a long night. Oxford Hills junior goalkeeper Anna Huff made at least five saves while sprawled out on the turf in the first two minutes, and the Vikings also fought off the subsequent corners.

EL believed at least two of its scoring bids crossed the line.

“That kills you. That’s a 2-0 game right at the beginning of the game, and instead it’s 0-0. That’s really frustrating,” Perkins said. “But I won’t take anything away from them. They wanted it, and they beat us to every single ball.”

The free ball that led to a 1-0 Vikings lead in the sixth minute, for example. Morton rifled the ball 40 yards up the field to Wood, who raced in for a one-on-one confrontation with EL goalie Karli Stubbs.

Stubbs charged from the crease, and Wood lost her balance as she took the initial shot. Wakefield was there for the rebound.

“There was so much going through my head,” Wood said. “I didn’t know if I could get around her or not. I’m just thankful for my teammate, Haley, to be able to push it in.”

EL battled back to grab a 2-1 advantage.

Brooke Lever tipped the equalizer past Huff after the Eddies’ initial attempt rattled the post, courtesy of a corner. Oceanna Chamberlain was credited with the go-ahead goal. She was closest to the ball when it deflected into the cage off an Oxford Hills defender.

“They probably should have had a few more,” Goddard said.

Everything changed with Morton’s tying goal, however. Oxford Hills outshot EL 25-5 in the second half and 31-14 overall.

Stubbs (26 saves) was up to the task on numerous bang-bang sequences to keep the margin from escalating.

“We really stepped it up and knew that we had to win our senior game,” Wood said. “We just got so much more intensity going.”

Morton struck again with a theft and a quick turnaround in the EL defensive zone with eight minutes remaining. This time, Wood had the finishing touch.

“As a team we do really well transitionally,” Morton said. “Every time I pass it up to the forwards, I know they will be able to take it down.”

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