The Monmouth Academy girls soccer team might have entered the season as an inexperienced group overall, but the key upperclassmen for the Mustangs have carried the early season scoring load.

Senior striker Haley Fletcher scored two goals in an 8-0 Mountain Valley Conference win over Dirigo on Tuesday, bringing her season total to eight goals through five games. Fletcher has 68 career goals, just three shy of the school’s career scoring record.

Monmouth tops the Class C South Heal point standings and is the only squad in the region without a blemish on its record.

“I’m really happy,” Monmouth coach Gary Trafton said. “I really wasn’t sure where we would be. I knew we’d have some experience up front, but we’ve also got four freshmen starting and six new starters overall. They’ve picked it up quicker than I thought they would.”

Fletcher’s golden boot hasn’t been the only one producing for the Mustangs. Juniors Tia Day and Emily Grandahl keep the engine going around Fletcher, and each had two goals in the win over Dirigo, while Day also had to assists in that match. Monmouth has scored 29 goals through five games.

“They’ve been working really hard out there,” Trafton said. “They’ve just go to show up every game. Every coach says that, but it’s true for us. We just can’t go through the motions.”

After The Mustangs play Lisbon Thursday, they host Wiscasset in a rare night game as part of Homecoming at Monmouth on Saturday. Fletcher is on pace for her 71st career goal just in time for the occasion.

TRAINING TABLE: While the Messalonskee boys have got off to a good start in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A division, head coach Tom Sheridan was waiting for a hectic schedule at the start of the season to settle down just a bit.

The team lost senior Owen Concaugh to a broken leg in its final preseason game against Waterville, and then opened the regular season with four games in a 10-day span. Those four games came against perennial KVAC contenders, too, in Hampden, Edward Little, Brunswick and Camden Hills.

“We knew the first four games were very tough at the start of the year, and it’s kind of holding that way right now,” Sheridan said last week after drawing with Brunswick, 1-1. “After that, in the middle part of the season, hopefully we’ll get a chance to get some more stuff done in practice. It feels like (the schedule) has just been bang-bang-bang at the start. I think we’ll be all right when we start hitting our stride here and having more practices outside when it’s not 80-something degrees.”

DEFENSE FIRST: The Mt. Abram boys have surprised a number of people with their strong start in Class C South, most notably head coach Darren Allen.

“I am surprised, but I know that we have potential,” Allen said of his 2-1-1 squad that ranks second in the region’s Heal point standings. “I don’t think people give our defense a lot of credit.”

That defense was on display in a season-opening scoreless draw against Hall-Dale, which has gone 3-1-0 since and sits atop the C South Heals. Anchored by center backs Sean Allen and Tor Tooker, Mt. Abram has allowed only two goals through four games, both of them in a single contest.

“We allowed five shots in the last two games total, against Mountain Valley and Oak Hill,” Allen said. “Oak hill is a tiny little pitch, and not very wide, so to only give one shot in a game like that was really nice.”

Offensively, the Roadrunners have been beset by injuries, making a young attacking group even younger. As the season wears on, Allen hopes the team will continue to build in the right direction and be able generate enough goals to turn the defensive efforts into convincing wins.

The goal remains the same: host a playoff game in Salem.

“Nobody wants to come to Mt Abram in October,” Allen said. “Nobody wants to play here. It’s a long bus ride from anywhere and the weather is always nuts. I told the kids that we need to use this to our advantage.”

MIDFIELD MASTERY: The Erskine Academy boys started out a little sluggish in defense of last season’s Class B North regional title, but the Eagles felt a bit more like themselves in a 5-0 win over Gardiner last weekend.

Erskine started the year with a 1-1 draw against MCI and a narrow 2-1 win at Leavitt before beating the Tigers, an effort they followed with a 6-1 thumping of Spruce Mountain on Tuesday.

The key for the Eagles lies in the midfield and the work of Luke Wilson and Brock Glidden.

“We’ve got guys that win a lot of head balls. We keep it up on their side of the field, and that’s really key to our strategy,” Erskine center back Andrew Browne said. “If we’re attacking over and over again, they’re still running back trying to recover, and their midfielders are getting tired. It’s really great for us having the midfielders doing the work they’re doing in the middle of the field.”

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

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Twitter: @TBarrettGWC