Hall-Dale’s Akira Warren (10) turns the corner on Lisbon’s Jack Tibbetts during the second half of Saturday’s Mountain Valley Conference game in Lisbon. Eric Maxim/The Times Record

LISBON — Coach Shawn Rhoda knew the Lisbon boys soccer team was entering the tough part of its schedule two weeks ago, facing the likes of Hall-Dale, Monmouth Academy and Mt. Abram down the stretch.

Lisbon completed that stretch to close out the regular season with a 7-1 Mountain Valley Conference setback against unbeaten Hall-Dale on Saturday.

Bulldogs standout Akira Warren tallied six goals and surpassed Hall-Dale’s single-season goal-scoring record that was previously held by Connor Longfellow.

The Greyhounds will likely host a Class C South preliminary contest next Saturday, as Rhoda’s first season leading Lisbon concluding with a 9-5 record.

“I am proud of what we have accomplished,” said Rhoda, who was hired in mid-August, just one week prior to his team’s first practice. “They didn’t know what to expect from me and I didn’t know what to expect from them. They should be proud of this year. It is an accomplishment to win nine games in this conference. This doesn’t define our season. Next Saturday, we will try to be better and extend our season.”

Lisbon, like most of the MVC teams this year, had trouble containing Warren, who entered the contest two shy of the team record. His first goal off an Ian Stebbins assist made it a 2-0 game after Logan Dupont had put the Bulldogs ahead 8:09 into the contest.

Warren made it 3-0 with 22:20 remaining in the first half, and his third strike with 6:52 before the break gave him the record-setting 36th goal of the campaign.

“I can’t say enough about what Akira has done, but the ‘teammate’ part is just as big,” Hall-Dale first-year coach Jesse Rowe said. “I have a group of seniors that are standout athletes in multiple sports, and he is right up there. What was satisfying for me was seeing the guys gather around him after he did it. Josh Nadeau set him up for those last two goals. It is always nice to have that. It has been a really fun first season for me with them.”

“I was nervous because we only had three guaranteed games left, so I am glad that I was able to do it today,” Warren said. “It is my senior year and I wanted to make it a great season. My teammates have really picked me up.”

Lisbon’s Justin Violette (11) beats Hall-Dale’s Josh Nadeau to the ball during the first half of Saturday’s MVC match in Lisbon. Eric Maxim/The Times Record

Warren upped Hall-Dale’s lead to 5-0 with 54 seconds left in the first half.

“First half was an off day for us,” Rhoda said. “We got really flat in transition. We tried to have more depth, but (Warren) is a good player. We thought we could contain that, but (Hall-Dale) is a good team.”

Lisbon found some life with 13 seconds left in the first half. Hunter Brissette’s long throw-in found the foot of Calvin Jeselskis, who slipped a shot past the dive of Hall-Dale goaltender Sam Sheaffer (seven saves) to make for a 5-1 contest at the break.

Warren struck two more times in the second half, with both goals assisted by Nadeau, who finished with three assists.

Hall-Dale’s Ian Stebbins (6) intercepts a pass to Lisbon’s DJ Douglass during Saturday’s Mountain Valley Conference game in Lisbon. Eric Maxim/The Times Record

Now, Lisbon and Hall-Dale have some time to prepare. The Greyhounds, who have dropped three straight and four of their past five contests, will look to get back to basics.

“We just try to refocus. It has been a tough few games, but now we reset and move on to Saturday, beginning Monday practice,” Rhoda said.

Hall-Dale begins preparations for Thursday’s MVC championship against rival Monmouth Academy, a rematch of a 3-3 deadlock between the teams on Sept. 21.

“We know them and they know us pretty well. That game will keep us sharp,” Rowe said. “I have had a really easy job of coaching this team. When you have talent and they like playing together, it is easy.”

Hall-Dale’s Logan Dupont (11) races Lisbon’s Caleb Phillips to the ball before scoring the first goal of the game in Saturday’s Mountain Valley Conference game in Lisbon. Eric Maxim/The Times Record


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.