Gary Trafton was hoping his Monmouth girls soccer team would be able to fly under the radar a little bit longer. But after an impressive 5-1 win over St. Dom’s on Tuesday, the Mustangs aren’t going unnoticed anymore.

Unbeaten (8-0-1) and now nipping at the heels of Madison for the top spot in the Western C Heal Point standings, the Mustangs were searching for a signature win when they went to Auburn and exploded for four goals in a five-minute span in the first half. The defense, led by sophomore Olivia Homer, took care of the rest, corralling the Saints’ top scorer, Faith Grady, to pick up a 5-1 win that allowed them to leap frog over the Saints in the Heals.

“That was a big win because we were third in the Heal Points and St. Dom’s was above us,” Trafton said. “We played a team that’s very good and the girls played really well together as a team. If we continue to play like we are, we’ll have a home field game in the playoffs, which is all we want.”

Monmouth’s own prolific scorers, Haley Fletcher and Sydney Wilson, both had big games. Wilson scored the icebreaker midway through the first half, setting off a flurry of four goals in five minutes that turned the contest in the Mustangs’ favor. The junior now has 16 goals on the season.

Fletcher, a sophomore, finished with a hat trick to increase her team-leading total to 18 goals. But Trafton insists the Mustangs aren’t growing dependent on their two biggest weapons.

“Haley Fletcher doesn’t get the ball if the other girls aren’t doing their job in the backfield. We’re not a one-dimensional team,” he said. “We’ve scored more goals this year (49) than we did all of last year.”

The Mustangs have a showdown with Madison at home on Oct. 13, but have games against rival Winthrop, Carrabec and Hall-Dale to settle first.

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Rather than allow a 10-0 defeat to Mountain Valley in the second game of the season derail their hopes of contending in the Mountain Valley Conference, the Mt. Abram boys regrouped and ripped off a six-game winning streak that has them back in the hunt for the MVC championship game.

Mt. Abram (7-1) reached the midway point of the season playing leapfrog with Monmouth for second place in the conference, trailing unbeaten Mountain Valley. The Roadrunners picked up a big 1-0 win at Monmouth on Tuesday to claim possession of second place briefly before the Mustangs’ win over St. Dom’s on Wednesday vaulted them back into the second spot. On Friday, Mt. Abram gets its crack at the Saints and possibly trading places with Monmouth again.

In retrospect, the loss to Mountain Valley was a wake-up call for the Roadrunners after a 3-0 win over Wiscasset in the season-opener, according to senior goalkeeper Tristen Dyer.

“We needed it,” Dyer said. “It was kind of like an eye-opener for us that we need to work harder than all of the other teams to beat them because we didn’t have the skill this year like we had the last two years.” “We took that game and threw it away. It only counts as one loss,” Dyer added. “We just took the stuff we could learn from it and tossed everything else out of our minds.”

They obviously remembered how to play defense. They’ve allowed just one goal over the six-game winning streak and are coming off back-to-back shutouts of Monmouth and Telstar going into Friday’s game against St. Dom’s.

Dyer also blanked Dirigo and Oak Hill to help get Mt. Abram back on track. Coach Mark Lopez hopes those voting for conference and statewide recognition throw out the Mountain Valley score as easily as his players did when considering Dyer for postseason honors.

“I’ve watched Tristen play net since sixth grade. He was really an awkward goalie, sliding on his knees and stuff like that,” Lopez said. “He really has perfected his craft. He knows the sport very, very well and has worked as hard as any soccer player I’ve ever had work on anything. I know we’ve got some great keepers in this conference, and I’m prejudiced, but I don’t think there’s another one much better, if any.”

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Splitting the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference into two divisions has had the expected affect on the ability of teams to pick up Heal Points.

The Erskine Academy and Camden Hills boys have yet to lose a game but were ranked fifth and sixth, respectively, in the Eastern B Heal Points standings as of Thursday night.

That makes Tuesday’s game between the two teams at Erskine all the more important. The Eagles (7-0-1) and Windjammers (4-0-2) played to a 1-1 draw their first meeting in Camden, on Sept. 19.

That contest kicks off an important stretch drive for the Eagles, who have road games at Oceanside and Medomak Valley following Tuesday’s tilt.

On Friday, Winslow hosts Maranacook in another big KVAC matchup. The Black Bears (8-0) won the first contest, 1-0, on Sep. 9 at Ricky Gibson Field of Dreams. The Black Raiders (7-1) have not lost since and will need to turn the tables to improve their hopes of challenging for one of the top two seeds in Eastern B.

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

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Twitter: @RAWmaterial33