THORNDIKE — The Mount View boys soccer team has already exceeded its expectations this season.

Now the Mustangs are ready to set the bar a bit higher.

After a 3-1 victory over rival Maine Central Institute on Tuesday afternoon, Mount View is entering long-unchartered waters: Staying near the top of the Class B North standings, with a strong possibility of hosting a playoff game.

The Mustangs went 4-9-1 last season. They wake up Wednesday morning at 9-1-0 — with four games remaining — and are the top team in the conference.

It’s a season no one saw coming, not even the players.

“We looked over the schedule, we were thinking six, seven wins (for the season),” junior captain Cassidy Pound said. “Our team is young; we have three seniors. That’s not a very old team. We were not expecting to get as far as we are. This is huge. Our school hasn’t done anything like this in years. This is huge for us.”

And Mount View is spreading its scoring around, giving it a balanced attack. The Mustangs have had 10 different scorers this season, with six different players providing assists.

“It’s easy enough to shut down one, two, even three players,” Pound said. “We’ve had 10 or 11 people score this season, you can’t shut that down. You can shut down one person, (the ball) is going to someone else, and they have the (ability) to put it in, too.”

“We’ve got 11 guys who start, and I don’t think any of those guys cares who puts the ball in the back of the net,” Mount View head coach Dale Hustus added. “We share the ball extremely well. We’re still working on some fundamental stuff. We still have a tendency to want that ball up in the air for some unknown reason. But it’s coming along real well.”

Mount View played its first game in a week, but it showed little signs of rust Tuesday. The Mustangs kept possession of the ball through much of the first half, keeping the pressure on MCI (5-4-1). Mount View notched its first goal midway through the half, when Noah Oathout connected with Logan Curtis on a beautiful cross, just beyond the outstretched hands of MCI goalkeeper Duncan Boreham. Curtis knocked the ball into the net for the 1-0 lead, where it remained until halftime. It was Curtis’ team-high 18th goal of the season.

“We wanted to start the game fast, start strong,” Pound said. “Get a couple (shots) into the net before (MCI) got into this game. Just make sure we put them out before they could come into it.”

Mount View tallied its second goal early in the second half, as sophomore Elijah Allen took a Josh Larrabee pass in front of the net and nailed it home for a 2-0 lead.

Pound added to the lead when he found open space in front of the net and buried a shot midway through the second half.

“I like to pass the ball off, that’s kind of what I do on the team,” Pound said. “But if I see an opportunity, I’ve got to take it.”

Down throughout the contest, the Huskies — in a battle for playoff positioning as it entered the game as the No. 12 seed in B North — were resilient. MCI scored with 13 minutes to play, as Pedro Roberto Fernandes found the ball in a scrum in front of the net, then slipped it past Mount View goalie Max Tomlin.

The Mustangs still face challenges in their next four games. They play playoff-hopeful Mount Desert Island on Saturday. They also travel to Foxcroft Academy — the No. 8 seed in the conference — for a match on Monday.

“I felt fairly confident that we would be able to achieve my initial goal, qualify for the playoffs,” Hustus said. “I set a stretch goal — in the back of my mind — for us to host a playoff game. Certainly nothing is set in stone, but we’re on track to achieve that, perhaps be able to pull off no prelim game at all, to get that first round bye. And that’s all on the boys. They show up every day, ready to work, ready to get the job done.”

The Mustangs are ready to do what they’ve done all season: Exceed expectations.

Dave Dyer — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Dave_Dyer