MONMOUTH — You can only keep a good player down for so long.

Shadowed, frustrated and held scoreless for more than 89 minutes, Monmouth junior Kylie Kemp finally found a way into the goal.

With seven seconds left in the second overtime, Kemp lofted a direct kick from 35 yards out that bounced in front of Mt. Abram goalkeeper Allison Lopez and skipped off her outstretched hands into the net. The goal was Kemp’s 13th of the season and gave the Mustangs a 1-0 victory.

“I knew we didn’t have much time,” Kemp said. “I kicked it as far as I could and it just bounced the right way.”

At 7-0-0, Monmouth is the surprise team in the Mountain Valley Conference. Opponents are well aware of Kemp and have geared their defenses to stop her. The Roadrunners (3-2-1) used junior Ivy Mitman to mark Kemp and she limited her to two ineffective shots.

“Looking at the scorebooks, seven goals in the first three or four games, we knew (Kemp) was going to be key,” Mt. Abram coach Marc Keller said. “I told (Mitman) last night she was going to be the one that was going to do it and that’s the best game she’s played in three years.”

Most of the game was played between the penalty circles. Monmouth managed seven shots on goal while Mt. Abram had four. Neither Lopez nor Monmouth keeper Adriane Gonzales was seriously tested before Kemp’s goal.

“We’re a defensive squad,” Keller said. “We’ve got a lot of experience back there. We’re not going to score a lot of goals but we’re hopefully going to prevent a lot, too.”

The best scoring chances for both teams were opportunities that never fully materialized. Monmouth freshman Madison Bumann nearly had a breakaway with 10 seconds left in the first half, but narrowly lost a race to the ball to Lopez. In the second half, Bumann and Ashley Coulombe combined on a pretty passing sequence deep in the Roadrunners end but didn’t result in a shot on goal.

Monmouth held the edge in play in the first half while Mt. Abram controlled much of the second half. Both sweepers — Mt. Abram’s Lyndsay Beane and Monmouth’s Shannon Buzzell — played well and stymied a lot of scoring chances.

“I think they were going to the ball a lot better than we were in the second half,” Monmouth coach Gary Trafton said. “They didn’t have a lot of great shots but they checked it down into pressure looking for a mistake.”

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

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