MADISON — For the first time in her career, Haley Fletcher can say she beat the Madison Bulldogs.

Fletcher scored two goals, the second midway through the second half, and Monmouth Academy held on to beat Madison 3-2 in the Mountain Valley Conference opener for both teams Friday afternoon.

“In the three years that I played before, I’d never beaten Madison. We’d only tied or lost to them,” said Fletcher, whose Mustangs were stung with a 3-2 overtime loss to the Bulldogs in their second meeting last season. “This feels really good.”

The Mustangs extended a 2-1 halftime lead in the 63rd minute. Fletcher’s sister, freshman Audrey Fletcher, hit Madison on the counter attack with a through ball to Haley Fletcher’s feet. Haley Fletcher made no mistake and finished off the goal for a 3-1 Monmouth lead.

Audrey Fletcher provided some of the youthful spark Monmouth coach Gary Trafton said his team would have.

“We started four freshmen and I was kind of worried about it going in,” Trafton said. “We got ready for this. I’m really proud of the girls, we played with a lot of heart today.”

Nine minutes later, Madison’s Jillian Holden made things interesting when she deflected home a Madeline Wood shot that rang off the crossbar.

Monmouth, however, held the Bulldogs at bay for the remainder of the match to secure the victory. Goalkeeper Katie Harris made 10 saves, seven in the second half — including a diving stop on Wood with under 15 minutes remaining.

“We started off a little slow, but once we realized that this was what we’d been working hard for, we started pushing it and getting the ball in (deeper),” Fletcher said. “We realized what we needed to do.”

Madison carried the early play, dominating the game’s first 20 minutes with its play in the midfield.

Sydney LeBlanc put the Bulldogs on the board in the 12th minute, taking a long throw-in down the right side from Ashley Emery and racing to the corner of the 18-yard box. Her lofted ball to the far post froze goalkeeper Harris on her line and found the back of the net for a 1-0 led.

Madison likely could have had more to show for its first half, taking 11 shots at the Mustang goal. Their best chances came in the fifth minute, when Emery’s corner kick glanced wide off the head of Whitney Bess, and in the 30th minute, when Wood’s left-footer from 23 yards out sailed just over the crossbar.

Once they were able to get organized defensively, the Mustangs got into the flow of the game. Finally able to win some balls in the midfield, Monmouth was able to get its attackers involved.

Haley Fletcher won a footrace against Madison goalkeeper Lauren Hay, putting a foot on the ball to slip it under a sliding Hay to tie the game at 1-1 in the 25th minute. Eight minutes later, an ill-advised challenge in the right side of the box handed Emily Grandahl a penalty kick. Grandahl calmly deposited the ball in the right side of the net to make it 2-1 Monmouth.

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