LISBON — Throughout the regular season, Lisbon High School girls soccer coach Jake Gentle and his Greyhounds worked tirelessly on improving a defense that entered the season having lost a ton of talent to graduation.

Though the ’Hounds struggled at times this season, the defense has finally come together.

Lisbon showcased that hard work on Friday in a 2-0 Class C South preliminary win over Carrabec, sending the seventh-seeded Greyhounds to Tuesday’s quarterfinals at Madison, the No. 2 seed.

The seventh-seeded Greyhounds improved to 9-6 and will face a Bulldogs team familiar with Lisbon’s defensive improvements. Madison’s only loss during the regular season was a 1-0 setback against Lisbon on Oct. 8.

“We’ve done a lot of focus on rotating directly on our defense, and on top of that we are as healthy as we have been all season, with Ally (Sult) and Abby (Gamache) fully healthy,” Gentle said. “The girls came in and knew that we had to defend the ball really well and I thought they did a good job today.”

Lisbon’s defense was especially strong in the second half on Friday. With the wind in their face, the Greyhounds, led by sweeper Chandler Riordan, kept the Cobras (5-8-2) from registering a quality scoring chance.

“Chandler was fantastic today, and in my opinion one of the best sweepers in the league,” Gentle said. “She is strong, fast and is very aggressive. I couldn’t be more proud of her.”

“I think we came together,” Riordan said of her team’s defensive improvement down the stretch. “It took us a while to get used to the loss of those seniors from last year. Today, we had the notion of wanting to win a playoff game. We really wanted it this time.”

Schreiber goal

The teams played conservatively over the first 20 minutes of the contest, with both squads registering two shots and zero quality scoring chances.

That changed with 11 minutes remaining. The Greyhounds pressured the Carrabec defense. With Emma Houle and Deliah Schreiber working hard, a foul inside the 18 gave Lisbon a penalty kick with 10:49 left on the first-half clock.

Schreiber calmly sent a shot inside the left post for a 1-0 lead.

The goal sparked Lisbon, which was awarded five first-half corner kicks. The fifth corner kick led to a goal. Riordan sent a wind-blown cross into the box, with Emma Houle getting a toe on the ball. Her shot deflected off a Cobras defender and spun behind Carrabec goaltender Kelsey Creamer for a 2-0 lead with 5:06 remaining until halftime.

Both Creamer and Lisbon’s Sult turned aside four shots in the opening frame.

Using the wind to its advantage, Carrabec forwards Mickayla Willette, Brooklynn Moore and Bailey Dunphy pressured the Lisbon defense of Riordan, Gamache, Carly Drischler and Sydney Douglas. But, the Greyhounds held firm, forcing the Cobras to shoot from the outside. Sult picked up four easy saves in the second half to finish with eight.

“I think we are playing with confidence,” said Gentle. “We have some young kids that are continuing to learn their responsibilities and where they need to go. But, I think the upperclassmen are doing a good job instructing them in a positive way. I hope we can keep it going.”

Carrabec held a slight 14-13 shot advantage, with both teams attempting six corner kicks. Creamer had six saves in the Cobras’ net.

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