Mt. Abram High School’s Evan Allen (9) battles for a header with Monmouth Academy’s Hayden Fletcher (9) as the snow falls in the first half in Salem on Tuesday. (Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel)

SALEM — After nearly 92 minutes, all it took was one moment.

A soccer ball, lost amongst countless snowflakes falling, found the shin of Cam Walters, and then found the back of the net.

And like that, it was all over.

That moment gave the Mt. Abram boys’ soccer team a 1-0 victory over Monmouth in a Class C South quarterfinal match Tuesday.

It was a moment Walters — a freshman — couldn’t fathom at the time, as he wasn’t able to see the ball at the moment he scored.

“I didn’t really see anything,” Walters said, shivering in the freezing cold. “I figured that I should be behind the tall guy in case he missed (the pass), and I was. It wasn’t even a clean connection. It went off of my shin, it went in the goal, and it felt like a dream.”

The fourth-seeded Roadrunners (13-2-0) will next meet No. 1 seed Waynflete in the semifinals. Monmouth finishes the season 11-4-0.

For 80 minutes — and an additional 11:40 in overtime — Mt. Abram and Monmouth battled back and forth in less than ideal conditions. The first half of the match involved a wintry mix of rain and slush before giving way to snow in the second half.

“We want to play simple, but with the conditions, we had a shot that went just three feet because of the snow,” Mt. Abram coach Darren Allen said. “Just kick forward, kick it into the box and hope for the best. That’s what we did (on the score). I didn’t even see the ball, for crying out loud, because of all the snow.”

Play was even in the first half, the lone scoring chance coming from Monmouth’s Nate Ashton, whose shot was turned aside by diving Mt. Abram keeper Jack Deming. Monmouth had a 6-5 shot advantage in the half.

The Mustangs took control of the game from a possession standpoint in the second half, and also had the closest opportunity to capitalize. With 23 minutes remaining in regulation, Cody Michaud had an open shot on net and aimed at the top left corner of the goal. But Deming — who stands well over 6 feet — was able to use his height to his advantage, deftly nabbing the shot over his head. Deming had 12 saves.

“Jack came up big again,” Allen said. “Jack in the (Mountain Valley Conference) championship was the man. And tonight, given the conditions as a goalkeeper when you’re standing around all the time, and you’re asked to make a big save? That’s tough, and he did. The whole group did well.”

“We played really hard. (Mt. Abram) is a good team, we had our opportunities,” Monmouth coach Joe Fletcher said. “I thought it was pretty even in the first half, the second half I thought we outplayed them. We talked all week about how when the opportunity presents itself, you’ve got to capitalize. We just didn’t finish.”

Though the Mustangs outshot the Roadrunners 8-2 in the half, Mt. Abram managed to turn away the scoring chances and keep the game scoreless by the end of regulation.

The snow fell even harder heading into overtime, bringing winter to the sports complex.

As the thought of penalty kicks loomed, everything changed when Evan Allen kicked the ball into play from the sideline, some 30 yards toward the net, amongst a mass of players in front of the goal. Walters managed to knock it past Monmouth goalkeeper Connor Davies, who had replaced Brock Bates just moments earlier due to an injury.

Mt. Abram gets the season sweep over Monmouth. The Roadrunners beat the Mustangs 3-1 in the Aug. 31 season opener.

Friday’s match against Waynflete (12-0-3) will present a chance at revenge for the Mt. Abram upperclassmen. It was the Flyers who knocked the Roadrunners out of the playoffs last season, 1-0 in the quarterfinals.

“I’m expecting a very controlled game, a disciplined game from (Waynflete),” Allen said. “They play like how I want us to play, very simple. String passes together, get forward, find a target. I know they have a great goalkeeper, and they’ve had a very tough schedule. It will be a tall task for us, but you know what? That’s OK. That’s what we’re here for.”

Mt. Abram High School goalie Jack Deming (99) makes a save of a shot by Monmouth Academy’s Hayden Fletcher (9) as Mt. Abram’s Ben Butterfield (6) looks to help defend the goal in the first half in Salem on Tuesday. (Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel)

Mt. Abram High School goalie Jack Deming (99) makes a save on a shot by Monmouth Academy’s Gabe Martin (23) in the first half in Salem on Tuesday. (Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel)

Mt. Abram High School goalie Jack Deming (99) makes a save as Monmouth Academy’s Gabe Martin (23) tumbles over him in the first half in Salem on Tuesday. (Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel)

Monmouth Academy goalie Brock Bates (29) leaps for the save against Mt. Abram High School in the first half in Salem on Tuesday. (Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel)

Monmouth Academy’s Thomas Neal (10) eyes the ball in the snow against Mt. Abram High School in the first half in Salem on Tuesday. (Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel)


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