RUMFORD — Mountain Valley tightened up its defense when it had to against a formidable Lisbon squad and came away with a well earned 2-1 win over the Greyhounds at Chet Bulger Field on Tuesday.

The teams played a wide open first half with seeming reckless abandon, forcing each team’s keepers — Mountain Valley’s Jacob Beauchesne and Jonah Sautter of Lisbon — to make some incredible saves.

“We knew coming in that Lisbon was going to give us a battle,” Mtn. Valley coach JT Taylor said. “This was an important game. We controlled our own destiny, so we told the team that they needed to remain composed and concentrate on the things that they needed they needed to do.”

Mountain Valley (11-2), ranked fifth in the most recent Class B Heal Points, needs every victory it can muster down the stretch. Lisbon is ranked eighth in Class C. The Falcons still have a chance to move into the top four and earn a first-round bye in the playoffs. A win over Oak Hill would set-up a rematch against Hall-Dale in the MVC title game.

Aleski Pirttijoki scored the eventual game winner on a free kick with 2:11 left in the first half.

Pirttijoki was tripped near the top of the offensive box and was awarded a free kick. The Greyhounds set up a defensive wall on the right, but Pirttijoki drilled a booming shot to the left that Sautter was unable to reach in time.

“A key for us defensively was to keep talking and communicating with each other,” said Beauchesne, who made 17 saves. “Lisbon was very fast and we hadn’t expected it.”

Each team had created chances in the first half. Lucasz Bukowski dribbled in on the left and his shot hit the crossbar. Moments later, Lisbon’s Josh Huston intercepted the ball and dribbled in point blank, but his kick nailed the cross bar, as well. Mountain Valley opened the scoring when freshman Garrett Garbarini drilled a blast inside the left post.

Sonke Hanneken sent a crossing pass over to Garbarini with 17:38 to go in the first half.

Lisbon (8-5) tied the score 1-1 on a beautiful goal by Bradley Boulet, who had rushed in, avoided a diving Beauchsne, tapped the ball to left and fired into an open net with 8:55 remaining in the first half.

“In the last 20 minutes of the first half, I felt we outplayed them. But, getting the next goal in soccer is a matter of inches,” Lisbon coach Dan Sylvester said. “The guys knew the second half would be a (challenge), and in the second half we had chances again. But, a couple things just didn’t go our way.”

A potential goal by Lisbon was waved off because time had been called. The near-side official had double whistled and waved the trainer on the field to tend to a fallen Mountain Valley player. The far-side official, meanwhile, didn’t hear the stoppage and allowed Lisbon to resume a free kick. Prior to the Greyhounds putting the ball in the net, he realized the situation and blew the play dead.

Mountain Valley made some adjustments at halftime in order to slow the Lisbon offensive pressure. It worked, but the Greyhounds unveiled another weapon in their arsenal, creating chances with long kicks. Austin Fournier and Glenn Hill booted balls in to the box, but the Falcons’ defense was up to the task.

“Jesse Pelletier was really getting up in the air,” Taylor said. “I had moved William Wagner back to help out Dylan Knox who had been getting pressured. Ryan Bennett was able to get back and help on defense, as well.”


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