RUMFORD — Even the elements couldn’t slow down Madison, which was constantly headed in the right direction Tuesday afternoon in an MVC girls’ soccer game against Mountain Valley.

The Bulldogs controlled the action and seemingly shot at will, led by Madeline Wood, who scored three of her four goals in the first half.

Meanwhile, the lock-down defense proved to be steady again in a 7-1 triumph over Mountain Valley at Chet Bulger Field.

Madison (6-1), ranked No. 2 in the Class C South Heal Point standings, applied pressure on the Falcons’ defense immediately and it paid dividends.

Sydney LeBlanc opened the scoring by settling in on the right side and booting the ball past Mountain Valley goalie Lauren Sterling into the left corner one minute into the game.

Moments later, Wood, the Bulldogs’ lone senior, used her skill level to dictate the action by drilling the ball in to the left corner.

”We (believe) in going with what got us here,” Madison co-coach Mike Walsh said. ”We set up our offense to begin with the midfield, with both in the middle, and it worked because Wood scored four goals, and then we’ll dish it out to the wings.”

Mountain Valley (2-4), clinging to the 12th and final Class B playoff spot as the season hits the midway point, shifted into a defensive mode as fullbacks Brooke Carver, Kylee Pelletier and freshman Saydie Garbarini tried packing it in. It was the beginning of a long, hot day for Sterling, who made 24 saves, including several from point-blank range.

”We tried covering the open spaces and cover the midfield,” Mtn. Valley coach Lynn Gould said. ”We are taking it one game at a time at this point. Granted, we are currently on the bubble and that will change. But one big win by us could change everything.”

Madison scored again when Wood drilled a high shot past Sterling with 31 minutes left on the clock.

Mountain Valley regrouped with shots by midfielders Abby Mazza and Grace Briggs and forwards Taylor Henry, Julia Perry and Hailey McNally. Madison goalie Lauren Hay (five saves) was successful at rushing out of the goal to derail rushes. This was enhanced by strong fullbacks Annie Worthen, Marah Hall and Trista Grioux.

”We did a good job of rotating over to the strong side. We got burned once,” Madison co-coach Erin Wood said. ”At this point, we are really concentrating on Heal Points and hoping to earn a home playoff game.”

The Falcons finally broke through when Emily Laubauskas intercepted a clearing pass and booted a 25-yard shot past Hay. The momentum was short-lived.

Madison controlled the tap and Ashley Emery fed Whitney Bess, who scored 19 seconds later for a 4-1 lead. The Bulldogs would score twice more to lead 6-1 at halftime.

”In the second half, we lacked intensity. We sat back,” Gould said.


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