MONMOUTH — For the first half and the better part of the second, the Madison girls soccer team bottled up Monmouth junior striker Kylie Kemp as good as anyone this season.

But …

“A player like that, we can shut her out all game and then she gets one opportunity, two opportunities and shows why she is a great player,” Madison coach Mike Herrick said.

Kemp scored two goals in the final 12 minutes of regulation to lift No. 3 Monmouth past No. 11 Madison 2-0 in a Western C quarterfinal game Tuesday afternoon. The Mustangs (13-2-0) will play at second-seeded St. Dominic (13-1-1), which edged No. 10 Sacopee Valley 1-0 on Tuesday, in a regional semifinal game at 11 a.m. Saturday. Madison finished 7-9-0.

The two teams met Sept. 7 with Monmouth earning a comfortable 6-1 victory. Kemp did most of her damage then, scoring three goals, and she came up big Tuesday.

The eventual game-winner came with 11 minutes, 56 seconds left in the second half.

Kemp took a pass from Sidney Wilson and beat Madison goalie Savanna Kandiko with a low shot to the near post. The Bulldogs nearly caught Kemp offsides, but the striker recovered in time to beat Kandiko to the ball.

“When we went to pass the ball I saw I was offsides so I had to run up and then run back,” Kemp said. “I didn’t think I was going to make it. I touched it right before the goalie got it.”

Added Monmouth coach Gary Trafton: “They used that offside trap well on us today, but eventually you get caught on it.”

Kemp pushed the lead to 2-0 with 5:31 left when she scored with a laser of a shot off a pass from Caroline Bonenfant.

“I got lucky,” Kemp said. “I was open.”

The goals were more than enough for Monmouth keeper Adriane Gonzales, who stopped 12 shots. Kandiko finished with eight saves for Madison, which had its opportunities early to jump out front first. The Bulldogs out-shot the Mustangs 10-6 in the first half.

“We’re a whole different team than what we were at the beginning of the season,” Herrick said. “We played well in the first half. On top of that, we had the wind going with us. We did everything but put one or two in. That would’ve changed the game.”

Trafton said he felt fortunate the game was scoreless at the half.

“We didn’t even get the ball past midfield,” he said. “The wind might’ve helped a little bit and we got the jitters out of the girls. I know they were nervous. We didn’t get a lot of opportunities, but in the second half we did.”

And Kemp made sure they weren’t wasted.

“We haven’t been coming out real well in the first half,” she said. “We always talk about it at halftime. But we came out (in the second half) and got our passes a lot better.”

Bill Stewart — 621-5640

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