MADISON — It was senior day for the Madison girls soccer team Thursday and as they have all season long, the seniors came through.
Senior Kirsten Wood scored a pair of first-half goals to lift Madison to a 2-1 win against Monmouth in a matchup of two of the better teams in the Mountain Valley Conference.
With a game left, Madison is 11-1-1 and in line to play in Wednesday’s MVC championship game at Thomas College. Monmouth falls to 7-5-1 and may have lost its shot at a home playoff game in Western Maine Class C. Both teams have one regular-season game left.
Wood scored seven minutes into the game when she shielded a defender from the ball and fired a hard shot from 20 yards out into the left corner of the goal past a diving Mikayla Cameron.
“I knew at the beginning of the game we had to be intense and come out and score first,” Wood said. “I was working on (long shots) before the game and it’s all good. It worked out perfectly.”
Wood scored with 16 minutes remaining in the half, again beating a defender in the middle of the field and firing a shot to the left side for her 14th goal of the season. She’s one of four seniors along with goalkeeper Savanna Kandiko and midfielder Christie Vicneire and Whitney Lloyd who have helped the Bulldogs overachieve this season.
“I knew that we would have a good year, but I didn’t know how good,” Madison coach Mike Herrick said. “The key is we’ve been fighting injuries. We’ve been piecing together wins because different people have been out.”
It appeared the Bulldogs would run away with the game in the first half, but Monmouth came out much harder in the second period and forced the action.
“We outplayed them in the second half,” Monmouth coach Gary Trafton said. “We’ve had problems with that all year.”
The Mustangs had several quality chances but just couldn’t finish them. It took a tough-angle shot from senior Kylie Kemp to finally put them on the scoreboard. With 17 minutes left to play, Kemp dribbled down the right side toward the end line. With a defender on her left, she fired a tough-angle shot that caught the far left post and bounced into the net. It was Kemp’s 17th goal of the season.
“That’s one of those, you look at your keeper and say ‘good try,’ ” Herrick said. “There was nothing she could do about it.”
Kandiko finished with six saves while Cameron made seven. Sophomores Sidney Wilson and Sammy Grandahi played well for the Mustangs and helped keep the pressure on the Bulldogs in the second half. Madison drew good games from sophomore back Erin Wilson, who marked Kemp, and freshman midfielder Madeline Wood.
Gary Hawkins — 621-5638