NORTH ANSON — It wasn’t pretty, but locked in a three-way race for the top two spots in the Class C South Heal points with one-third of the season to go, Monmouth was only going to dwell so much on the aesthetics of Monday’s 4-0 win over a young Carrabec team.

Haley Fletcher scored twice and Monmouth’s defense got tougher in the second half to cruise past the Cobras.

Sammy Grandahl and Tia Day each had a goal and an assist for the Mustangs (8-0-1), who are gaining fast on Madison and St. Dominic for one of the top two seeds after beating the Saints last week.

Monmouth had goalie Mikayla Cameron to thank for not falling into an early deficit after she made a diving save to rob Carrabec freshman striker Makayla Vicneire. Day and Fletcher then snapped the Mustangs out of their early doldrums with goals 73 seconds apart.

Day scored hers through the back door on a nice cross by Grandahl with 28:06 left in the first half. Day then set up Fletcher’s first goal at 26:53.

“Tia hit it off to the side and I just kind of flipped it through (the defender’s) legs and then went under and took a long shot,” Fletcher said.

“It was a little rough at first,” Grandahl said. “Lately, we’ve been starting off a little slow, but we started to pick it up and start passing and moving around people. That’s the type of game that works for us.”

Monmouth executed better passes and Fletcher and the Mustangs had several chances to add to the lead in the first half. Fletcher had Carrabec starting goalie Stephanie Cossaboom (one save) off-balance and tried for the far post but just missed. Grandahl set up Wilson with a nice cross that rolled wide right. Taylor Spadafora had a bid bounce off the top of the crossbar with a little under nine minutes left.

Fletcher finally made it 3-0 with 8:12 to go in the half, rushing on the right wing and uncorking a hard shot into the far corner.

“She didn’t try to kill the ball. She placed them in and that made a difference,” Monmouth coach Gary Trafton said. “I’ve been hounding on her about that — take the easy shot. Try to place it in instead of trying to kill it in.”

Vicneire continued to give the Cobras (5-5-0) a few quality chances in the first half. But with Izzy Lewis and Grandahl marking her, those virtually disappeared in the second half.

“In the first half, I wasn’t really sure what position she was playing, because usually teams that we play don’t have two girls just hanging in the middle. I’m used to playing out on the wing,” Grandahl said. “I was basically a second center-mid today.”

“We struggle sometimes. There are a lot of young kids on the team,” added Carrabec coach Silas Bell, whose team honored its three seniors — Bailey Atwood, Bianca Beaulieu and Mickayla Willette — before the game. “We keep having to put a lot of younger kids into positions that they’re not quite developed for yet. I’ve lost two of my senior starters (and MVC all-stars Liberty Chestnut and Paige Chadbourne) and that hurts, especially since one of them was a striker and the other was a fullback, two critical positions.”

Kelsey Creamer replaced Cossaboom in Carrabec’s goal for the second half and was solid, stopping seven of eight shots she faced. The one she didn’t stop was extra painful — a shot that went off her face rebounded to Grandahl, who lofted it over the goalie’s head and into the net with 2:47 left for the final score.

The Mustangs have a tough schedule to finish the season, with playoff teams Boothbay, Hall-Dale and Mountain Valley, plus two with Madison, coming up.

“Our goal is to go one or two (seed) this year so we have home field and a first-round bye in the playoffs,” Trafton said. “We’ve got plenty of points just waiting for us. Plus, we’ve got a big target on us.”

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

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Twitter: @RAWmaterial33