TOPSHAM — Fifth-seeded Mt. Blue got a pair of goals from Sam Smith, including the game-winner 7:28 into the second overtime, to down No. 4 Mt. Ararat for a 2-1 win in the teams’ Class A North soccer quarterfinal on Tuesday.

The Cougars (9-4-2) will face No. 1 Bangor on Saturday. Mt. Ararat ends its season at 7-5-3.

“We knew Mt. Ararat was going to come out tough against us,” Mt. Blue coach Joel Smith said. “Jack (Rioux) does a great job with his program.”

Mt. Ararat outshot the Cougars 29-10, but it was the visitors who made them count when needed.

“We didn’t change anything from the last time we played,” Mt. Ararat coach Jack Rioux said. “We knew they were going to come at us with #4 (Sam Smith) and we wanted to be aggressive.”

Mt. Blue took down the Eagles 3-1 a few weeks ago, so each team knew what to expect of each other. Mt. Ararat came out aggressive, and looked to put pressure on the Mt. Blue defense with a lot of quick touches.

Dom Giampierto, Zach Gunther, and Jared Fontaine denied the speedy Mt. Ararat midfielders any real scoring opportunities early on.

Each team had a lot of back and forth between the boxes over the first 20 minutes. Deep in Mt. Blue territory, Mt. Ararat’s Dalton Streeter took a throw in for the Eagles. His high arcing throw almost beat Cougar goalie Hunter Bolduc, but the senior got a hand on the throw. He did not secure the ball, and with it rolling away from him, it hit the near post and Giampierto cleared the ball, keeping the game scoreless.

The Mt. Ararat senior nearly threw another ball in 10 minutes later, but was again stopped by Bolduc and a magnificent save.

Smith broke the scoreless deadlock with 7:32 left in the half after a direct kick by Mick Gurney bounced off Mt. Ararat defenders and eventually Smith for the tally.

“There was a little scrum in front of the box,” Sam Smith said. “The ball got loose and I was able to get a foot on it. It may have hit a defender, but it went in.”

Max Spelke almost tied the score with 22 seconds left in the half, but Bolduc came up with one of his seven first half saves.

Despite trailing 10-5 in shots, the Cougars led 1-0 at halftime.

“We were with a one goal game at the half,” Rioux said. “The kids were confident they could control the ball.”

Mt. Ararat did just that, taking control of play to start the second frame. While continuing to keep the ball in the Mt. Blue zone, the Eagles suffocated the Mt. Blue offense, not allowing a shot over the first 10 minutes of the half.

Streeter, making one of his many throw ins for the home team, chucked a ball deep towards the Mt. Blue net. Picking up a bouncing ball, freshman Sebastian Scherry found the back of the net for the equalizer at 29:24.

Giampierto continued keeping Mt. Ararat at bay, clearing anything that came close to the goal.

“He’s been a pillar back there,” Coach Smith said of his junior defenseman. “He’s a stalwart on our defense back there.”

Sam Smith nearly put the Cougars ahead when keeper Gavin Patterson came out to grab a loose ball. Smith and Patterson arrived at the same time and the back came loose, rolling back towards the net. A dive backwards by Patterson grabbed the ball to keep the game tied.

Mt. Ararat kept the pressure on, firing nine shots, including six on net in the final 15 minutes, but came up empty. Mt. Blue only managed two shots in the second half, but Bolduc’s nine second half saves carried the game into overtime.

Each team had a chance to score in the first overtime, but both Bolduc and Patterson came up with game-saving saves forcing a second OT.

After a Bolduc save, Patterson made one of his own on the other end. But midway through the second extra frame, Smith picked up a loose ball and legged it over the outstretched hands of Patterson for the winning score.

“He battles. He has an intense drive on and off the field,” said coach Smith. “He pushes himself, he pushes his teammates, he just always want to get better.”

“Throughout the game I missed out on a couple of opportunities so I was glad to make that one happen,” added Sam Smith.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.