FARMINGTON — Mt. Blue scored three goals in the first half on its way to a 4-0 victory over Cony in Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A boys soccer action Monday at Prescott Field on the University of Maine at Farmington campus.
Mt. Blue (3-6-0) took advantage of the Cony (3-8-0) defense in the first half, when the Rams opted to play a high line in an effort to trap the Cougars in an offside situation. The strategy worked early but when the Cougars made adjustments, the goal count started to rise.
“We were prepared for Cony’s offside trap,” Mt. Blue midfielder Ike Doiron said. “We played the ball to the corners to avoid it and we got several good looks at goal.”
Mt. Blue’s Drew Parsons burst through a seam in the defense carrying the ball into the penalty area before sending a pass to his right for Doiron. Doiron struck a hard ball at the 12-yard line that sailed inside the right post for a 1-0 lead at 30:30 of the first half.
“Coming in we expected this to be a good win for us,” Parsons said. “We have more confidence, as a team now that we’ve played a few games together.”
Mt. Blue had several quality attacks with ground passes through the middle. Parsons collected a through pass, dribbled into the area where keeper Brandon Elwell came charging to the ball and, just before Elwell could make the save, Parsons touched the ball to his right sending it rolling toward the goal for a 2-0 lead at 22:53.
“All of our games have been close this year,” Parsons said. “It was nice to score some goals, but that is what we can do when we keep it on the ground. That’s when we are at our best.”
Elwell, playing an active role in the back, made four strong saves on Mt. Blue shots but two resulted in knockdowns that the Cougars pounced on for goals inside the goal area.
For the third time in the half, the Cougars managed to take advantage of the Rams offside trap attempt when left winger Josh Carlson grabbed a pass on the left sideline and dribbled forward into the penalty area. Carlson unleashed a tough shot, but Elwell deflected the ball away from the goal.
Mt. Blue’s Liam Welch was waiting on the save and neatly tucked the ball into the back of the net for a 3-0 lead at 19:54.
Cony picked up its transition game in the second half carrying play into the Mt. Blue end. The Rams managed to out-shoot Mt. Blue 9-7 in the second half but finished the game with the Cougars owning a 14-12 advantage.
In one of its few offensive runs in the second half, Mt. Blue scored its fourth goal of the game when Evan Backus grabbed a deflected shot and drove a hard ball between the post and Elwell at 30:31.
Chris Paradis gave the Rams their best effort, firing a shot at goal from inside the penalty area when Mt. Blue keeper Zack Jackson was called on to make a diving save with 28:07 left in the game.