LISBON — Both the Lisbon and Dirigo girls soccer teams entered Tuesday’s Mountain Valley Conference matchup looking for answers.

The visiting Cougars’ goal is to finish out the season with a short bench after a 5-0 loss to the Greyhounds

On the other side, Lisbon is recovering from a big blow in the midfield with the loss of senior captain Giana Russo to a knee injury.

The Greyhounds are now 6-5 and slated to visit Mountain Valley on Wednesday, host Oak Hill Friday and close out the regular season by traveling to Monmouth Academy on Monday.

Kiley Merritt scored four consecutive goals in the second half Tuesday after a scoreless opening 40 minutes to propel Lisbon to the victory.

Merritt, who was stopped by Dirigo goaltender Katherine Morse on a penalty kick in the opening frame, made it 1-0 at the 2:36 mark of the second half after Siara Martin’s shot rang off the post to the right of Morse.

Merritt doubled the Lisbon lead four minutes later, and added two more tallies, the first assisted by Destiney Deschaines with 22:22 remaining.

Merritt’s fourth goal came after Morse went post to post for two of her 22 saves.

Deschaines finished the scoring with 4:10 left.

“The first goal led to more goals, and it allowed us to know that we could win,” Deschaines said.

Dirigo (1-12) showed its hand early, as Jon Blaisdell’s team packed it in on defense, trying to keep Lisbon from setting up shop in front of the Cougars’ net.

“We hunkered down,” Blaisdell said. “I have seven kids here that have never played soccer and they are starting. We are in survival mode. We are getting beat up, but we are keeping a good attitude. They are working hard. We have to stay in our opponent’s face to have success.”

Lisbon coach Jenniffer Perron was not pleased with her team’s first-half performance.

“We came out flat and there was no energy or communication. Yes, we took 15 shots, but only seven were on goal, and the others were all over the place,” said Perron. “We woke up in the second half. I think they realized that they were making themselves look terrible for no reason.”

“We kept trying to get it in, but the ball just wasn’t going into the net,” added Deschaines.

Lisbon continued to make runs early in the second half. Martin in the midfield was a constant presence, along with Merritt, Deschaines, Mackenna Poisson and ShuShu Ring.

“I had Siara in center-mid with Giana out,” Perron said. “We thought about making some changes, but the team felt Siara was doing the job and we stuck with it. It paid off.”

Said Deschaines: “We know that (Giana) is here, supporting and encouraging us. We will continue to work together and make do with what we got.”

Lisbon, which outshot Dirigo 30-0 and finished with a 15-0 edge in corner kicks, kept the Cougars from rarely crossing midfield, and the pressure eventually led to Greyhound goals.

Perron said her team will need to come out of the gates better as the regular season winds down with a challenging slate of games.

“We have to start the game with energy and with tenacity,” Perron said. “If we come out flat like this again against Monmouth and Oak Hill, the wins will not happen.”


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