DIXFIELD —At the end of regulation, Dirigo freshman Dalton Hodgkins told his teammates that he had a feeling he was going to make a big play in overtime against rival Mountain Valley.

With less than two minutes remaining in the second overtime, Hodgkins caught everybody by surprise as he was racing down the right side of the field, and 30 yards from the goal, he booted the ball across the field it went over Mountain Valley’s goalie Anthony Mazza and into the net for a 2-1 boys soccer victory.

“I was like, ‘I am going to bail us out, mark my words,’” Hodgkins said. “I pulled through, I guess.”

Friday was the second time two teams went into overtime this season. They also battled to a 2-2 tie on Oct. 23.

Hodgkins was glad to finally settle the season score of this year’s rivalry.

“It was really intense, but it was a lot of fun,” Hodgkins said of playing Mountain Valley. “It was a great season, overall.”

Dirigo coach Bob Karcher said that he felt his team was controlling the overtime session and was building momentum in the final minutes.

“I thought in overtime we definitely controlled more of it,” Karcher said. “I thought we controlled the first overtime because I thought we had the better looks, and in the second overtime it was kind of back and forth, but I thought we had more chances and Dalton finished it.”

The teams were scoreless at halftime. The Cougars had plenty chances, as they fired 11 shots towards Mazza in the opening half. Their best looks came in the final minute, but Mazza was able to get a hand on the first shot and deflect the ball out of play. On the ensuing corner, a shot just went high.

The Falcons, meanwhile, took three shots on Derek Ducharme in the first half.

Mountain Valley coach J.T. Taylor made adjustments during the intermission.

“We made a couple of changes at halftime, and the last 20 minutes we moved another guy up,” Taylor said. “I thought we had a few chances; we just didn’t convert.”

Taylor added that the Falcons have struggled this season to create offense.

Dirigo’s momentum carried over into the second half. The Cougars thought they scored about four minutes in when Hodgkins made a cross to Ethan Woods, and Woods’ shot beat Mazza, but the referees called offsides.

Karcher was frustrated with the no-goal call because of how difficult it is to score on the Falcons.

“The offside hurt because goals were hard to get,” Karcher said. “He was on the line, but, anyway, I thought it was a hard-fought win. J.T. does a good job, he gets his (players) out wide and spreads them out. Defensively they run that flat three (defensive system) and it’s hard to penetrate that at times, and Mazza is just a good athlete. He made a couple nice saves but we only needed two (goals) tonight, that was enough.”

The Cougars continued their offensive pressure and finally got their first goal. Five minutes after the offsides call, Hunter Berry’s shot on a direct kick when over Mazza and into the goal.

Mountain Valley had a few nice scoring chances in the second half. Jake New had a shot go wide of the cage, and Owen Sevigny tried to curl a shot over Ducharme, but Ducharme made the save.

The Falcons finally got the ball past Ducharme with about 25 minutes remaining in regulation. Ducharme he made the initial save but the ball went over his head and left Matt McWilliams with open shot on the net, which he converted.

Taylor praised McWilliams’ effort over the past few games.

“It was kind of a fluky goal, he was in the right place at the right time,” Taylor said. “He has been doing that the past couple games, working tirelessly, and he deserved it.”

Dirigo’s Trenton Hutchinson had a chance to break the tie, but his shot just went high. Later, Drew Collins had his shot stopped by Mazza (17 saves) with less than four minutes to play.

Maing Tang sent the ball in the air toward the goal in the final two minutes of regulation, but Ducharme (eight saves) jumped to make the save for Dirigo.


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