DIXFIELD — Everything seemed to fall into place for the Mt. Abram boys soccer team as it built a seven-goal lead in the first half.

Two of the Roadrunners’ points came on an own goal and a penalty kick as they dispensed of stubborn but understaffed Dirigo with a 9-1 victory on a dreary and damp Wednesday afternoon.

But Mt. Abram coach Darren Allen didn’t think the Roadrunners were exactly in sync in the first half.

“We haven’t had a game in I don’t know when, so we were just trying to work on a new formation and stringing some passes together and working on certain things,” Allen said. “The scoreboard didn’t matter. We were trying to work on connecting short passes and switching the ball.

“I wasn’t real enthused after the first half. I told the kids, ‘I don’t care about what the scoreboard says. We are not playing well, the way I think we should be. We need to start hitting those penetrating balls into the middle,’ and we weren’t doing that. We righted ship in the second half, and I thought we played a much better second half. They were trying to press us and we get out of the press good, so I was happy with that.”

Mt. Abram junior Cam Walters knew his way around the Cougars’ net and punched in three goals and earned a pair of assists along the way. Walters scored the Roadrunners’ third goal in the first half on a penalty kick after the Cougars were called for handball violation.

Freshman Morgan Thibodeau triggered Mt. Abram’s first-half feeding frenzy with his goal on a Walters assist. Kaden Pillsbury followed with unassisted goal to give Mt. Abram a 2-0 lead with 36 minutes left in the 0pening half.

After Walters scored the first of his three goals on a penalty kick, Pillsbury booted in his second goal in on Kenyon Pillsbury assist. Kenyon Pillsbury was on the receiving end of Walters’ second assist and scored to provide the ‘Runners with a 5-0 lead. 

“We were a little slow in the first half,” Kenyon Pillsbury said. “It took us a while to get going. We haven’t had a game in a little while, but we should have been ready.”

Hunter Durand was credited with an own goal and Walters topped off the Roadrunners’ first-half scoring outburst with his second goal.

“We didn’t do ourselves any favors in the first half,” Dirigo coach Bob Karcher said. “We left some guys open and maybe we could have pressured the ball a little higher at times.”

Both teams’ up-tempo approach in the second-half was due to the respite, and the Cougars, who play without a bench, certainly needed a breather.

Mt. Abram struck first in the second half with a goal from Walters on a Thibodeau assist.

Then, with 8:27 left in the game, senior captain David Callender punched in Dirigo’s only goal without assistance.

“We are also playing with a lot of young guys,” Karcher said. “We start three freshmen, three sophomores. You know, we don’t have a bench. It is not the ideal situation, but it is what we’ve got and we want to keep the soccer program going. 

“Darren’s got an elite program and they haven’t lost a game all year. They have kids that play year-round. They have a high soccer IQ. They are one of the top teams in the conference. I knew it was going to be a tough game.”

Sam Cockerham scored for Mt. Abram’s ninth goal, which was set up by Kenny Tozier.

But Karcher was pleased with his Cougars’ effort in the second half.

“There were some bright spots. It was a tough day, but there were some good things, too,” he said.

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