READFIELD — Kayla Hubbard is fitting right back into things, and that’s a great sign for the Erskine girls soccer team.

The junior midfielder, who missed each of the last two seasons with separate injuries to the same knee, proved a key cog in leading the Eagles to a 3-1 win over Maranacook on Tuesday night at Ricky Gibson Field of Dreams. Hubbard scored off a great individual effort in the 75th minute to break a tie and help put Erskine (5-1-1) back in the win column in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B following a disappointing defeat to Winslow over the weekend.

“I’m so grateful for this. This is the best thing ever,” Hubbard said of being back to contributing. “I’m so happy. It’s just amazing.”

Erskine’s Taylor McLaggan (9th minute) and Maranacook’s Lauren Clough (32nd minute) traded first-half goals, as the Black Bears (2-2-2) started to seize some of the game’s momentum prior to the break.

In the second half, Maranacook came out strong and played toe-to-toe with Erskine over the first 15 minutes before the tide started to turn.

Once it did, though, the Black Bears could do little to try and get momentum back. In the 58th minute, Eagle Lauren Wood rang a shot off the crossbar off a set piece, and in the 67th minute, Wood capped off a long spell of Erskine possession with a shot that sailed just inches over the bar.

“They’re really good,” Maranacook coach Travis Magnusson said. “When a team is really, really good, you might be able to control them for 20 minutes, 40 minutes, 50 minutes, but eventually — as good as they are — it’s going to show.”

As the game passed the 70-minute mark, it looked like the upstart Black Bears might be able to pull a draw out of it. Annemarie Allen, who set up McLaggan’s first-half strike, served a wonderful ball into the six-yard box for Wood, and Wood got off a low, blistering shot. That shot, though, was met by Maranacook goalkeeper Skyeler Webb (12 saves), who stretched out with one hand to make the stop at the right post.

“I told the girls, that might be the best save I’ve ever seen in a high school soccer game,” Magnusson said.

Four minutes later, Hubbard finally got the go-ahead goal after spending most of the night either distributing the ball wide or settling for long-range shots.

After a series of cutbacks off the dribble, Hubbard penetrated into the 18-yard box and launched a screamer that was deflected past Webb for a 2-1 lead.

A whistle blew before the goal crossed the line, but the officials met and determined that the handball infraction for which they’d blown the whistle wasn’t enough to disallow the goal.

“I just shot it. All I saw was the open goal,” Hubbard said. “We’d been trying to get shots off, so I just went for it. We realized in the second half, we really needed to pick it up.

Naturally deflated, the Black Bears conceded a third goal to Erskine freshman Maynard Haymanot in the 80th minute.

“In the first half, we were trying to be too perfect in the 18 (yard box),” Erskine coach Ryan Nored said. “We were trying to look for the perfect shot. I don’t think we tested (Webb) at all. In the second half, we were all about ‘pull the trigger.’ We were doing that and then crashing the net hard.”

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC


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