WALES — Her team needed a spark. Audrey Fletcher came through.

And then, before the buzz had completely died down, she delivered again.

Fletcher scored a pair of highlight-reel goals in a six-minute span in the second half, and the Monmouth Academy girls soccer team rallied past Oak Hill 2-1 Thursday in both the season opener and a rematch of last year’s Mountain Valley Conference championship game.

Oak Hill’s Emily Dillman keeps the ball away from Monmouth’s Mya Sirois during a game in Wales. Kennebec Journal photo by Joe Phelan Buy this Photo

“We’ve been looking forward to this game. We knew that they were going to give it their all, and we had to play our ‘A’ game,” Fletcher said. “At the beginning of the game we came out a little bit, not scared, but just too anxious. … We just started playing our game. We didn’t rush our passes, we started passing to our feet, and I think that really helped.”

Fletcher scored in the 59th and 65th minutes, giving her 82 goals for her career — one away from the school record set by her sister, Haley.

“She’s worked hard, and she worked a lot in the offseason to get better,” coach Gary Trafton said. “She gets things going out here.”

Oak Hill coach Jeremy Young, meanwhile, wasn’t about to criticize his team. After all, against one of the tougher teams they’ll face this season, the Raiders had control most of the way.

“I’m really pleased overall,” he said. “They get up for Monmouth games. Just being able to overcome butterflies and stick to our gameplan, that was huge. We’re trying a couple of new things here and there, and to have them really commit to it and see it all the way through was awesome.

“But we know, also, that Monmouth is dynamic.”

Oak Hill had a 1-0 lead on a goal by Rachel Duguay in the last minute of the first half, but midway through the second, Monmouth and its standout forward struck. The Mustangs played a lob down the left side, and Fletcher outraced the Raiders’ Emily Dillman to the ball. She then turned toward the middle of the field, dribbled by another defender, stopped, and ripped a shot into the top left corner of the goal to tie the game.

“When I beat the first girl, I was going to take the shot, and then I saw open space and I was like ‘Might as well keep going,’ ” she said. “I kind of hesitated to shoot and the girl didn’t come out, so I just took it. … It flows all together. I do my best when I’m not thinking about it.”

Fletcher’s second goal was pretty too. Alicen Burnham played the ball up to her teammate, and Fletcher cut right to get space against her opponent, then planted and fired another strike into the net for a 2-1 lead with 15:23 to play.

“It was a great ball by Alicen. … Literally perfect. I couldn’t have asked for a better (one),” she said. “I didn’t have a shot with my left foot because (the defender) was right there, so I knew I had to chop it and take the shot quick. I thought it was going to hit the post, but it just barely made it in there.”

It marked a change from the first half, when Oak Hill packed the middle of the field and made it difficult for Monmouth’s scorers to find room.

“We just kicked a lot of balls the first half, didn’t create any offense. Just kicked the ball and didn’t connect,” Trafton said. “In the second half, we started making more passes to each other. Kids played hard and they ran through the ball more too, I think, in the second half.”

Oak Hill’s tally came on a well-executed corner kick. Elise Worth lofted a ball toward the back of the box, and Duguay leapt and directed it into the net with her upper body with 47 seconds remaining in the half.

“A lot of times you see girls or boys, if they’re not sure of that ball they duck, they get out of the way, they do all these things,” Young said. “She just stood in there and took it off her chest and put it in. Pretty awesome play.”

Comments are not available on this story.