MONMOUTH – The Monmouth Mustangs capitalized on the North Yarmouth Academy Panthers mistakes Saturday afternoon in the Class C South boys’ soccer semifinal.

Miscommunication and defensive breakdowns by the Panthers led to goals for the Mustangs in the 2-1 victory.

The Panthers had their chances and controlled the play in the first half, as they had the advantage in corners in the first 40 minutes, 6-2, including three in a row around the 30th minute of the opening half.

It was the Mustangs who would capitalize on that sequence, though. They cleared the ball away after the third corner, and it found its way to the Panthers’ box, where goalkeeper Connor Clock thought one of his defenders would play the ball back to him. But the defender backed away from the ball, not knowing that Monmouth winger Mat Foulke was shadowing him. Foulke, like a lion stalking its prey, jumped towards the ball and drilled it past Clock, who had no time to react and get set for the shot.

The goal came with 9:17 remaining in the opening half.

“After we weathered that storm, we got a little more energy, and they started playing the way they are coached,” Monmouth Coach Joe Fletcher said. “Matty Foulke is a type of player that never gives up. He showed why he’s a scrappy player.”

At the other end of the field, Monmouth goalie Bradley Neal made two saves, coming out to challenge two shots in the later portion of the first half to keep the game 1-0 at the half.

The Panthers couldn’t get anything going in the 40 minutes.

“We had the ball in their box a lot of times and it didn’t fall for us today,” NYA assistant coach Martyn Keen, who as acting as the head coach, said. “That’s the game, sometimes. Scoring a goal with 1:38 to go doesn’t give you much chance to tie it up. We had several opportunities before that.”

The Mustangs continued the momentum in the second half. They had a few chances, but nothing major until a through ball was sent to Avery Pomerleau’s direction. He sprinted to the ball, beating the defenders, and had an one-on-one chance with Clock. Pomerleau was tripped up in the box and was awarded a penalty kick.

He scored his 34th goal of the season to give the Mustangs the 2-0 lead with 18:46 remaining in the game.

“It was a great ball from Hunter (Richardson) and he played his space,” Avery Pomerleau said. “The ball is going to skid every time in this wet rain. When it skidded, I kept running through the ball like coach said. He says run through every play, and one time it’s going to pay (off). This time it payed (off).”

Nothing much was happening for the Panthers for the remainder of the game until the final two minutes when Andrew Keith was able to have a clean look on goal. He converted and put the Panthers on the board with 1:38 left to play.

The goal energized NYA for the final 98 seconds as it pushed to tie the game, but the Panthers weren’t able to get a solid scoring opportunity.

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