MONMOUTH — When junior Avery Pomerleau scored less than five minutes into Tuesday’s game, it appeared top-seeded Monmouth Academy would pull away quickly from No. 8 Sacopee Valley in the quarterfinal round of the Class C South boys soccer tournament.

Turns out that was the only score of the contest as the Mustangs settled for a 1-0 victory in a game in which they failed to capitalize on several good scoring opportunities.

“I don’t know whether we ran out of energy or if we became complacent after we scored, but it took us a while to get going again,” Monmouth coach Joe Fletcher said. “Well, we’re moving on.”

Monmouth (12-1-2) is scheduled to host No. 5 North Yarmouth Academy in the semifinals Friday, although it could be pushed to Saturday with rain in the forecast. Sacopee Valley finished 7-7-1.

Freshman Gabe Martin initiated the play that led to Pomerleau’s goal.

“We kind of developed the play like we normally do, one touch, one pass,” Pomerleau said. “When Gabe controlled the ball — he plays hard, he’s a great player — he played it over the top. We play to space, which coach wants us to play to space, I made a move and had a good goal.”

The goal was the 33rd of the season for the junior striker, who is closing in on the school record of 36 held by Kyle Fletcher.

Neither team generated much after that. Monmouth goalie Brad Neal finished with two saves while his counterpart for the Hawks, Cameron Cyr, had five stops on eight Monmouth shots. Sacopee defender Jake Adams saved a first half goal with a stop in the goalmouth after Cyr had been pulled out of position.

The Hawks were coming off a prelim win against Mt. Abram on Monday but coach Sam Bowers didn’t believe that had an effect on his team.

“I don’t think that had anything to do with it,” he said. “If anything it served to our advantage because we were fresh . . . actually just having played a game, they had a week off. I don’t think that was a factor.”

Pomerleau nearly scored on the opening kickoff of the second half as Cyr jumped to catch the ball just as it was about to curl under the crossbar. Neal stopped Sacopee’s only shot on goal in the second half as he dove to stop Camden Birro’s attempt from five yards in front of the goal.

The Mustangs generated six corner kicks in the second half and had several other good scoring chances, many set up by midfielder Hunter Richardson.

“We generated a lot of chances but we just couldn’t finish,” Fletcher said. “They played with a lot of people behind the ball but we still had multiple opportunities ”

Birro nearly tied the game with 7:30 left to play when he broke between two defenders. Neal stumbled slightly as he dove to the ground to make the save but the ball trickled just wide of the left post.

“I think we have the potential to go really far,” Pomerleau said. “We’re going to be the ones that predict how far we can go.”


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