MONMOUTH — When you’re hot, you’re hot, the saying goes, and right now the unbeaten Monmouth Academy girls soccer team is sizzling.

The Mustangs were dominated for most of the second half of Monday’s game against St. Dominic, yet found a way to win. Freshman Madison Bumann knocked in a rebound of Kylie Kemp’s direct kick with just under 13 minutes to play to give Monmouth a 1-0 win in a battle of Mountain Valley Conference unbeatens.

“There was a soccer god up there today,” Monmouth coach Gary Trafton said. “They just took it to us in the second half. We just hung in and caught a few breaks. We had one good opportunity.”

Monmouth is 8-0-0 while St. Dom’s is 7-1-1. The teams don’t play again during the regular season but figure to meet during the playoffs or in the MVC championship game.

The visiting Saints held a territorial edge in play during the first half but both teams had good scoring chances, each recording five shots on goal. The second half was another story.

“I think play was probably 80/20 that second half,” St. Dom’s coach Kathy Little said. “We talked about stepping to the 50/50 balls, looking to play possession. But they were starting to cover us on the outside where we like to play the flank so we started mixing it up where we could make some runs inside.”

The Mustangs rarely got the ball past midfield during the first 25 minutes of the second half. Leading scorer Kemp, who was shadowed by Emily Poulin throughout the game, finally broke free down the right sideline and was hauled down resulting in a direct kick. Dom’s goalkeeper Kelly Pomerleau knocked Kemp’s shot down but it fell to the feet of Bumann.

“I hit it off her hands and it went in,” said Bumann of her third goal of the season.

The Saints didn’t ease up their attack and put intense pressure on Monmouth goalie Adriane Gonzales.

“I was really nervous,” Gonzales said. “Coming into this game a lot of us were scared. Fortunately, mentally a lot of us bought into it.”

Gonzales finished with 11 stops, saving the best two for the closing minutes, first making a nice save on Kayla McLellan’s shot from 20 feet. And with 50 seconds left, she stopped Faith Grady from point-blank range.

“The very last one I honestly thought I wasn’t going to catch, because it was up high and that’s my weakness,” the 5-foot-3 Gonzales said. “I caught it and surprised myself.”

Despite the pressure in the second half, the Mustangs limited quality shots on goal. Sophomore sweeper Shannon Buzzell, in particular, cleared away a lot of potential scoring chances.

Game notes: Five of Monmouth’s eight wins this season have been by one goal. In their last game against Mt. Abram, the Mustangs scored the lone goal with seven seconds left in double overtime . . . The game began 30 minutes late and was further delayed by 10 minutes when St. Dom’s midfielder Marly Byrne sustained a hip injury late in the second half.

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

[email protected]

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