When Monmouth players look across the field at the start of Wednesday’s Class C South girls soccer regional final, the Mustangs might think they’re looking in a mirror. On the other side will be a team that plays very similar, and one the Mustangs know quite well.

Top-seeded Monmouth is hosting second-seeded Madison for the right to play in Saturday’s Class C state final at Deering High School in Portland.

“It’s going to be a battle,” Monmouth coach Gary Trafton said.

As great as both programs have been for the past four years, occupying the top two seeds in C South for the third time in that span, they haven’t met in the postseason since 2012 — a 2-0 Mustangs win.

Monmouth has also won the most recent meeting between the two, a 4-2 victory at home in mid-September that helped solidify the top spot for the Mustangs by regular season’s end.

“That loss was really probably an important game for us because if we thought we were a pretty good team, we found out that there was some deficiencies that we needed to work on,” Madison co-coach Mike Walsh said. “So we’ve been working on those ever since that game.”

Madison co-coach Erin Wood said after that game that her team knew the Mustangs were fast, but maybe didn’t know just how fast they were. Trafton will have no such problem explaining to his players the type of speed and skill the Bulldogs possess.

“They’re very skilled and they are very quick. They handle the ball very good,” Trafton said. “They have a very good offense.”

That Madison offense tallied 82 goals in 14 regular-season games, with a season-low of two coming against Monmouth. It’s been a little more difficult for the Bulldogs to score in the postseason, with just two against Lisbon in the quarterfinals and none in a semifinal win over Traip that was decided on penalty kicks.

The attack can erupt at any time, featuring Mountain Valley Conference Player of the Year Ashley Emery, who Trafton said “handles the ball very, very well, and she can score from pretty much anywhere down after half field.”

Joining Emery in the Madison midfield is MVC first-team all-conference player Whitney Bess and second-teamers Jillian Holden, and striker Sydney LeBlanc.

The Bulldogs can win with defense too, however. They shut out eight opponents and allowed just one goal to four others during the regular season. Four of the 11 goals allowed came at Monmouth.

“They got a very good defense back there and their keeper is a top-notch keeper,” Trafton said.

Senior Lauren Hay leads the Madison defense from the net.

“In these kinds of games defense is what wins the game,” Walsh said. “And we’ve worked on our defensive game and improved it to the point where we think we can match up with Monmouth.”

The Mustangs were even better at scoring goals during both the regular and postseasons than the Bulldogs. Monmouth compiled 104 goals in 14 regular-season games, and has tallied four in each of its two playoff contests. Strikers Tia Day and Audrey Fletcher and midfielder Emily Grandahl were all MVC first-team picks.

A Monmouth defense that has given up just eight goals this year (regular and postseason) and shut out 11 opponents is led by all-MVC honorable mentions Abbey Allen and Libby Clement. Junior Destiny Clough has been solid in goal as well.

With two good offenses and two just-as-good defenses, something will have to give.

“It’s going to be whoever wins the ball in midfield, controls the ball,” Trafton said. “So we need to be getting to the ball and winning the 50-50 balls. We can’t have it in our area for long areas of time, like we have in the past.

“It’s a pretty even game as far as I’m concerned.”

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