MADISON — Monmouth survived Madison’s second-half comeback Friday thanks to some skillful work from junior Audrey Fletcher and her teammates.

Fletcher scored the go-ahead goal in the second half and assisted on an insurance strike to help the Mustangs to a 4-2 victory in a rematch of last season’s Class C South regional final.

The win was the 11th straight for Monmouth (12-1), which sits atop the standings with one game remaining in the regular season. Madison completes its regular season at 7-6-1.

Fletcher assisted on both first-half goal before scoring her 23rd of the season with a solo move through two Bulldog defenders.

“The biggest thing we did was we didn’t give up when they came back,” Fletcher said. “Madison has always been our rival and both of us came in playing physical and with a lot of energy and I think we let down for a split second.”

These teams met in the regional final a year ago, and the Bulldogs came away with a 3-2 victory. But while Monmouth returned a number of starters, Madison lost most of its lineup to graduation.


“This season we had a lot of girls who hadn’t played many minutes at the varsity level,” first-year coach Savanna Lawrence said. “To come around and come together, that’s what we’ve seen this second half of the season. I think this is a team … that can play against anyone.”

The Mustangs got first-half goals from sophomore Alicen Burnham and senior Olivia Sirois to take a 2-0 lead. Both were set up by picture-perfect assists from Fletcher. She dribbled through the middle and led Burnham into space with a long pass down the right sideline, and Burnham finished it with a tough angle shot past Madison goalkeeper Susannah Curtis (nine saves) for her 18th goal of the season.

Sirois scored after Fletcher beat a defender to the ball to the left corner and crossed a pass to the far right post for a one-timer into the net. Burnham left shortly after her goal with an ankle injury and the Mustangs were forced to take up the slack.

“Other girls stepped up,” Monmouth coach Gary Trafton said. “Olivia came in and did what she had to do, and Bre Smith came in and did things, too.”

The Bulldogs rallied in the second half and controlled the ball for the majority of the first 15 minutes. They cut the lead in half following Emily Edgerly’s corner kick with 28 minutes, 30 seconds left to play. Monmouth goalie Emma Johnson (six saves) made the initial save but the rebound went directly to Laura LeBlanc, who kicked it in. Madison tied the game less than two minutes later after Landyn Landry chased a pass from her own end of the field and beat Johnson in a race to the ball.

Fletcher scored the eventual game-winner with 14:16 left when she gathered in a free kick from midfield and weaved her way around two defenders before putting a soft shot past Curtis.

“All year we’ve been talking about playing skill-wise and not just kicking the ball up for a 50-50 ball,” Fletcher said. “I was kind of off-balance because (a) girl kind of hit me, so I just knew I didn’t have to put a lot of power on it, just placement.”

Junior sweeper Libby Clement sprinted down field to get into the mix for a Fletcher corner kick and came away with the team’s fourth goal.

“On corner kicks I always come down like crashing,” Clement said. “So when I saw Audrey taking the corner kick, I was just going wherever the ball was going. The ball came in and it hit the front post and it popped up and I came in and I just ran through it.”

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