LEWISTON — Oxford Hills flipped the script from how its last game against Lewiston went 10 days ago, when the Vikings let a tie game at the half slip away in a loss.

Thursday night, not only did the visiting Vikings take a lead into halftime, but they kept their foot on the gas to pull away for a 5-0 victory at a rainy Don Roux Field.

“We really focused on linking passes and being on our toes. We played really flat-footed the first game (a 4-2 home loss), so they were passing around us,” Oxford Hills coach Lindsay Fox said. “Today, I think we dictated the passing. And we knew that we’re on turf so we had to play the ball on the ground, and they did a really good job doing that. And our communication tonight was a lot better. I’d say those were the keys.”

“I think the turf field actually helped us because we link passes a lot faster,” said Vikings senior Cassidy MacIsaac, who made three first-half saves in goal before switching to defense in the second half.

The linking showed up in the Vikings’ two first-half goals. Ella Kellogg opened the scoring 15:39 into the game, finishing off an Oxford Hills counter-attack by dribbling past her defender into the box, then beating Blue Devils goalie Ava Simpson.

A picture-perfect connection with 17 minutes left in the half started with a low cross from Elizabeth Johnson and was completed by a Bella DeVivo one-timer inside the right post.

“We just weren’t prepared to play, and I have to put that on me,” Lewiston coach Jeff Akerley said. “The girls just came out flat.”

“But I also have to give Oxford Hills a lot of credit. Their girls came out and worked really hard,” Akerley added. “They went hard to the ball, they fought on every possession, they passed really well, they were going to space strong. So I have to give them a lot of credit for the way they played. They really put a good game together. They just seemed really well-organized on the field, and we just didn’t have it in us tonight, that’s all. But Oxford Hills is a good team, and I just think that they were definitely more ready to play than we were.”

Any chance of the Blue Devils rallying after halftime went away within the first four minutes of the second half.

Lewiston goalkeeper Ava Simpson makes a save as Meredith Harthorne of Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School charges the net in Lewiston on Thursday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Cassidy Dumont finished off a Kellogg corner kick 2:53 in, then 62 seconds later Elizabeth Dieterich launched a 30-yard shot that went off of Simpson’s leaping hands and into the goal.

“It felt great (to score those two quick goals) because (the girls) knew that we’ve lost to them the last two times, that they wanted to be on the top this time,” Fox said.

“I could tell (at halftime) that they were deflated, and they didn’t respond to bouncing back from that,” Akerley said. “I think, personally, it gave Oxford Hills a lot of momentum and confidence, as should being up 2-0, so that gave them confidence to move into the second half and play us just as tough.”

Kellogg, who was denied a second goal by the post with less than a minute to go in the first half, blasted a shot just over the crossbar midway through the second. That marked the end of Simpson’s time in net after making seven saves.

Simpson, a junior, started in place of senior Gemma Landry, who missed the Blue Devils’ final game due to a death in the family. Freshman Natalie Beaudoin took over for Simpson in the final 20 minutes and added five more saves.

The Vikings got their fifth goal when Beaudoin couldn’t stop a third straight Oxford Hills shot, as Vikings freshman Maddy Miller rounded out the scoring with 1:41 to play.

Lizzy Hallee played in goal for Oxford Hills in the second half, after playing in the field during the first half, but didn’t record any saves.

Lewiston’s season ends with a 5-4-1 record. Oxford Hills still has games remaining after a delay to the start of its season.

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