MONMOUTH — Just a week after the Madison girls soccer team beat rival Monmouth by a goal, it appeared the Mustangs would return the favor on their home field Monday afternoon.

But Monmouth’s two-goal lead evaporated in the final 11 minutes and the teams settled for a 2-2 tie after battling through a pair of five minute overtime periods.

It was the regular season finale for both teams and allowed Madison (10-1-3) to take over first place in the Class C South standings. That could change Tuesday when second place Sacopee Valley (13-0-0) plays its season finale against Class B team Gray-New Gloucester (6-6-1). In either case, the Bulldogs will play in Wednesday’s Mountain Valley Conference championship game at Thomas College against St. Dominic.

Monmouth (10-2-2) finished less than a Heal point behind St. Dom’s in the Class C South standings.

Thursday’s results were much more satisfying for the Bulldogs, who spotted the Mustangs two first-half goals and didn’t come to life until the final 20 minutes of regulation.

“It was really good to see our team come out of that hole and show what we need for playoffs,” said Madison junior Madeline Wood, who scored from 20 yards out with 10:54 left to play. “It’s always an evenly matched game when we play them. They always give us their hardest and we always give them our hardest.”

Sophomore Ashley Emery tied the game with a 25-yard shot from the right side that beat Monmouth keeper Mikayla Cameron over the top.

“The first part of the game we tried to spread the field a little bit,” Madison co-coach Erin Wood said. “We went back to a different formation then we went back to spreading the field and I think that absolutely made a huge difference. We got some space to work with and we picked up our intensity.”

The Mustangs controlled most of the first half, out-shooting the Bulldogs 6-2 while winning the majority of the 50/50 balls. Sophomore sweeper Emily Grandahl put them on the scoreboard with 19:34 left with a direct kick from 25 yards that beat goalkeeper Erin Whalen to the upper left corner. Grandahl had nearly an identical kick two minutes earlier and skimmed it off the crossbar.

Junior forward Haley Fletcher made it 2-0 with a gift goal with 2:18 left in the half. Whalen came out of her goal to stop a long shot and mishandled the ball, which bounced to Fletcher with an open net in front of her.

“Just (put) pressure on the goalie,” Fletcher said, “and see if she would make a mistake and obviously just capitalize. That’s how we get our goals.”

The Monmouth defense, led by Grandahl in the back, protected Cameron well. She faced just seven shots, the toughest of which were Madison’s two goals. Whalen made 11 saves, none better than her point-blank stop against Sarah Scott 10 minutes into the second half.

Monmouth coach Gary Trafton ordered a double on Wood after she scored with Taylor Spadafora playing in front of her and Abby Allen behind. The strategy was effective in limiting Wood’s chances, but it opened up avenues for other players.

“The second half we didn’t get to the ball,” Trafton said. “They create offense. You can’t let that team create offense because they’re good. (Wood and Kayla Bess) they know what to do with the ball.”


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