GARDINER — With 20 minutes to play and his team holding a two-goal lead over Waterville, Gardiner boys soccer coach Nick Wallace urged his team not to break formation.

“(Waterville) can attack. I had to get our guys to realize they don’t have to sink back and park a bus. We’ve got to keep our shape and not allow the midfield to get dominated like we did the last 10 minutes,” Wallace said.

The Tigers withstood Waterville’s final surge, and held on for the 2-0 Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference win. Gardiner is now 3-1-1, while Waterville is 2-2-0.

After a scoreless first half, Gardiner scored the game-winner at 27:50 of the second half, when Braden Dorogi scored on a rebound. Approximately four minutes later, at 23:55, Cameron Rizzo’s goal gave the Tigers a two-goal cushion.

“Just in the right spot at the right time,” Rizzo said of his goal. “We just kind of worked it. We started moving the ball more.”

Wallace said the Tigers made small adjustments for the second half.

“We tried to make sure our guys were staying a little bit wider, to play that seam ball towards the flag a little more. Posses through the middle of the field,” Wallace said.

The Purple Panthers controlled play for much of the first half, and had the better scoring chances early. A crossing pass from the right by Declan Murphy found and open Zack Menoudarakos, whose header went wide right of the net.

“They’re a big, physical team, and they’re fast. We’re not the biggest team. Sometimes we have to withstand the pressure to feel the game out a little bit,” Wallace said. “I think we’re doing a little bit better job now of feeling that pressure and trying to exploit some weaknesses the other teams have. I thought we did that very well after the first 10, 15 minutes.”

The Tigers began to match Waterville’s chances late in the first half. With just over 11 minutes to play in the half, Jackson Tweedy had a shot stopped by Waterville keeper Aiden Tavares, and while he corralled the rebound, Tweedy was unable to get off a second shot.

 

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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