FARMINGTON — A combination of a penalty kick, a key save and a quick-thinking defensive play allowed Mt. Blue to finish the girls soccer regular season on high note on a frosty Tuesday night at Caldwell Field.

The Cougars eked out a 1-0 victory over tenacious Oxford Hills thanks to junior Katelyn Daggett’s penalty kick midway through the first half. Now both teams are heading to the playoffs in Class A North.

“Yes, the momentum of winning your last game heading into the playoffs is a big deal,” Mt. Blue assistant coach Griffin Conlogue said. “It gets you kind of into the right mindset, right attitude. If we lost, especially with it being senior night, some of the girls could have been pretty frustrated and upset heading into Friday’s or Saturday’s matchups.

“I like that we got a shutout. We hadn’t got one in a while. We started the season with quite a few in our first few games. We’ve only allowed more than one goal twice this season. We have a really solid defensive line and Caitlin Burke is one of the best goalies in the state. So if we can keep teams off the scoreboard and sneak one in there, there is any team that we can beat and we did that today.”

Daggett drilled the shot to the left side of the net and scored.

“I had to walk up there and believe in myself,” Daggett said. “I usually knock it into that side. It is my go-to side.”

The Vikings did everything humanly possible except put the ball in the net.

“I think it could have gone either way, but it came down to who played the hardest,” Daggett added.

The Cougars (9-4-1) also had a handful of opportunities to add to their lead, but couldn’t capitalize on any of their direct kicks.

In the second half, the Vikings (5-7-2) went on a tear, putting pressure on the Cougars and forcing them into a defensive posture.

There was one moment when Burke knocked down the ball in front of the net but couldn’t get to the rolling ball. Junior midfielder Meren Zeliger was right there to boot the ball out of harm’s way.

“I think I had one option and that was to kick it and there wasn’t much else to it,” Zeliger said. “I trust Burkey a lot. We have had plenty of those ’50-50 it could go in,’ and she’s done a really good job stopping them so I trust her a lot.”

Burke, who made nines saves, made a huge stop by blocking the ball with her chest in that frenzied second half.

The Vikings stayed on Mt. Blue’s heels until the buzzer sounded. Freshman goalie Madelyn Herrick also made nine saves for Oxford Hills. The Vikings outshot the Cougars 13-11 and held the advantage in corners, 5-2.

“I like the fact that once the PK went in, (we) didn’t give up,” Oxford Hills coach Brittany Moore said. “You know they really wanted it. They have been working this whole season, and as we have gotten closer and closer to the end of it, they have been working harder and harder and the consistency has gotten better from the beginning of the game until the end. At the beginning of the season, we had a hard time turning it on.”


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.