Lisbon goalkeeper Sarah Haggerty jumps on a shot by Kaylee Knight of Mt. Abram during the second half in Lisbon on Wednesday. Haggerty made the save. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

LISBON — The Lisbon goalie was on the ground, Mt. Abram was down 1-0 in the second half and Kaylee Knight was hurtling toward a wide open Greyhound net with the soccer ball.

The sophomore striker punched in the tying goal and also scored the game-winner with 52 seconds left in a Class C South quarterfinal to provide the sixth-ranked Roadrunners (11-4-1) with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over No. 3 Lisbon on a blustery, cloudy and cold Wednesday afternoon.

Mt. Abram will play the winner of Sacopee Vallley-Monmouth Academy semifinal, which was postponed until Thursday and will be played in Monmouth at 2:45 p.m.

“I was so nervous. I know I didn’t want to mess up and I knew I didn’t want to let them down,” Knight said. “I took my time because I knew nobody was around. It worked.”

Mt. Abram senior midfielder Alice Cockerham was on a breakaway when Lisbon goalie Sarah Haggerty came out of the net and tried to stop Cockerham. Both of them crashed to the ground and the ball got loose.

Knight, who was racing down the field just ahead of Cockerham, took possession of the ball and booted in the it into the exposed net with 31:18 left in the game. Cockerham was credited with the assist.

“We switched her up there,” Mt. Abram co-coach Lanie Roy said. “She usually is DCM (defensive center fielder). She played striker today. She has that fire in her and it showed.”

For the next 30 minutes both teams hammered away at each other in a game that could only be described as physical.

Numerous opportunities came to the Roadrunners and Greyhounds, but there were signs that the game was heading into overtime.

But Knight and the feisty band of Roadrunners were not keen on the idea of settling this donnybrook in overtime.

Knight stepped up again, and with assistance from sophomore forward Jade Davis, lofted the ball over Haggerty’s head and scored the game-winner with 52 seconds left.

“She went down for the ball and I just did it and in reaction,” Knight said. “I feel so proud of my team, myself because it is just so amazing. I wanted to do it for seniors, and then we finally got that accomplishment.

“I am just so proud of my team. I am so happy we made it.”

Knight’s offensive exploits left a huge smile on Roy’s face, but she also remembered a regular season game when the Greyhounds came out on top of another physical game.

“We did, but we were missing our sweeper (Baylie McLaughlin) then,” Roy said. “So having her back was such a huge impact. Having her back put everybody back to their positions.

“I knew it was going to be a very different game than the last time we faced them. Second half, we came together. We started off flat. We did have the wind with us in the second half, and after talking to them (at halftime), they came out on fire.”

In the first half, both teams battered each other as well as battle the elements. The cold, whipping wind coupled with off-and-on drizzle, made it tough going for the ’Runners and ’Hounds.

But the Greyhounds did get on the board first about two minutes into the first half when junior striker Kiley Merritt scored off an assist from senior forward Jordan Ott.

The following 38 minutes featured a penalty kick by Cockerham that was stopped by Haggerty and a handful of several direct, indirect kicks and corners that did not yield another goal for either side. Several shots hit the crossbar or went sailing over the net, with the wind making it impossible to judge the ball’s trajectory.

It didn’t help that junior midfielder Giana Russo injured herself in the second half.

“She went in the second half and was on the field and just moved wrong and just as she did, her knee buckled,” Lisbon coach Jenniffer B. Perron said. “They (Roadrunners) were hungry. They wanted it and came after it, and unfortunately, the physical play was out of control for a time there and I think it kind of really took us out of our game.

“They (Greyhounds) worked hard and pushed through, and unfortunately, the lack of communication … and that played a huge role where there seemed to be some confusion.”

For the day, the Greyhounds outshot the Roadrunners, 20-12, but Mt. Abram held the advantage in corners, 5-4. Mt. Abram goalie Emily Kidd and Haggerty each made nine saves.

Summer Ross, left, of Mt. Abram dribbles the ball past Sophia DiGregorio of Lisbon at Lisbon High School on Wednesday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

Siara Martin of Lisbon High School tangles with Jade Davis of Mt. Abram during the first half in Lisbon on Lisbon on Wednesday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

Alice Mackay, right, of Mt. Abram celebrates their 2-1 playoff victory with goalkeeper Emily Kidd in Lisbon on Wednesday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

Kiley Merritt of Lisbon walks off the playing field as the Mt. Abram High School girl’s soccer team celebrates their 2-1 playoff victory in Lisbon on Wednesday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)


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