It had been four years since the Mount View boys soccer team even qualified for the postseason, and in that 2013 season they were the 12th of 13 teams to enter the regional tournament.

They never advanced out of the preliminary round.

Fast-forward to this fall, and nearly out of nowhere, the Mustangs rolled to a 13-1-0 regular season, their first winning campaign since 2011. Mount View not only qualified for the Class B North tournament, but the Mustangs entered as the No. 3 seed in a deep and competitive regional field — ahead of traditional heavyweights Winslow (the two-time defending regional champion), Brewer, Ellsworth and Erskine.

For his efforts in turning the program around, Mount View’s Dale Hustus has been selected as the Morning Sentinel Boys Soccer Coach of the Year.

The Mustangs lost in the quarterfinals, but the tournament appearance was the icing on top of the proverbial cake that saw Mount View close out the season with nine-game winning streak.

“We came into this season just looking to get into the playoffs,” Hustus said at the time. “We did so much better than that. We finished with the best record in Class B North, that says something about a team right there.”

Without question, the team’s defensive effort helped spearhead this season’s ascension.

In beginning the season with a four-game winning streak, the Mustangs posted three shutouts. Four more followed before the playoffs began, giving Mount View clean sheets in seven of their 14 games.

Hustus took over the program midway through the 2016 season, replacing veteran coach Tom Ballard. With a full preseason and year with which to put his stamp on the Mustangs, Hustus delivered.

With a 2-1 win over Maine Central Institute in the prelims, Mount View posted its first playoff win since 2011 — the last time the Mustangs advanced beyond the regional quarterfinals.

Mount View had never entered the regional tournament higher than the fifth seed previously in the program’s history. And, the Mustangs are built for the future, graduating only two seniors.

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

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