READFIELD — For a fleeting second, Kate Mohlar thought she’d hit it too hard.

Mohlar slipped a free kick just under the crossbar in the 49th minute and the goal stood up as the difference in Maranacook’s 1-0 win over Hall-Dale in a Class C South girls soccer quarterfinal Wednesday afternoon at Ricky Gibson Field of Dreams. The Black Bears advance to meet either No. 1 Monmouth or No. 9 Sacopee Valley in Friday’s regional semifinals.

“I knew I wanted to hit it over the goalie, but I was definitely worried that I over-hit it, yeah,” Mohlar said. “It was nice to have that (goal) to get us going.”

A foul whistled 25 yards straightaway from goal gave Mohlar the chance to put Maranacook (10-2-3) on the scoreboard early in the second half.

She stood over the ball quickly, opting for a quick strike instead of allowing Hall-Dale time to organize its marks or a wall in front of goal. Mohlar whipped a high shot over the outstretched arms of Bulldogs’ keeper Maggie Gross (seven saves), the ball clipping the underside of the crossbar and dropping straight down into the goal.

“I was trying to take it quick because I saw that their defense was trying to race to set up,” Mohlar said. “I wanted to get it before they all got back there.”

“She had a nice hit there,” Maranacook coach Travis Magnusson said. “We just hit it quick and put it on there. We had some other chances, too, but we’ve just got to finish them.”

The win marked the second straight year the Black Bears eliminated Hall-Dale (10-5-0) from tournament play. Maranacook topped the Bulldogs in extra time in a preliminary-round game a year ago.

It’s the first time any member of the Maranacook roster has advanced beyond the regional quarterfinals.

“There were way too many kick and run kind of things for us,” Hall-Dale coach Guy Cousins said. “It got real frantic at times. We like to play a little more settled than that, but at the end of the day, all the goals look the same on the scoreboard.

“On a day like today, one goal does the difference.”

There were few good chances for either side during the regular run of play. Senior center back Grace Begin excelled in marking Maranacook freshman striker Emily Harper throughout the 80 minutes, while a trio of Black Bears — Evelyn St. Germain, Grace Dwyer and Kaylee Jones — locked down the defensive third of the pitch.

Hall-Dale’s best opportunity to equalize came in the 62nd minute, when Maranacook keeper Skyeler Webb came off her line to challenge Naomi Lynch for a 50-50 ball in the 18-yard box.

Lynch wrestled through a pair of markers to get a foot on the ball before Webb arrived on scene, but Lynch’s shot whistled just wide of the left post.

“I don’t know if we used the entire width of this field,” Cousins said. “When we were able to get wide, we had some opportunities. We had some good balls going across that if we could have gotten somebody on the end of it, it would have been a good scoring opportunity.”

There weren’t many Hall-Dale forays into the Maranacook end over the final 15 minutes as the Black Bears’ confidence grew, armed with the one-goal lead.

“We had some good chances, but people forget that we’re really young,” Magnusson said. “People were playing their first playoff game or getting more meaningful minutes. We’re onto the semifinals, and we’re excited about it. We’re probably the underdog the rest of the way, but we’re ready to go.”

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.