THORNDIKE — There wasn’t much difference between the Mount View and John Bapst girls soccer teams, at least not according to the final scoreline.

John Bapst’s Gillian Skehan answered a late converted penalty from Mount View’s Sage Pound in the 79th minute, and the Crusaders and Mustangs split the points with a 3-3 draw in a cross-class clash Saturday morning featuring two sides jockeying for postseason positioning in the standings. Sophomore Hannah Coolen had two goals for Mount View, while Kate Harriman and Casey Britt connected for John Bapst.

Mount View (6-4-1) is hoping to climb higher than its current No. 8 spot in Class C North, and getting up to the sixth spot would guarantee the Mustangs avoid a preliminary-round game to begin the postseason.

“We did a really good job there as a team, but unfortunately that was the way it ended,” Mustang midfielder Gabby Allen said. “I think we played a really good game. You can’t really feel too good about a tie, but it’s better than a loss.”

“Obviously, we’d much rather have the win. But what we need is (Heal) points right now,” Mount View coach Dave Page said. “We’ll take the points where we can get them. And that’s not a bad team, so they’ll be worth a lot more points going forward.”

The Crusaders (7-4-1) are fourth in Class B North and trying to close ground on the region’s top three of Waterville, Hermon and Mt. Desert Island.

“All scores are fair,” John Bapst coach Steve Lammert said of the tie. “All scores are exactly what happened.”

Level at 2-2, Coolen was taken to the turf in the 74th minute ahead of her hat-trick bid. That led to a penalty kick for the Mustangs, and Pound placed the spot kick home for a 3-2 lead as it looked like Mount View’s game to take.

But four minutes later, Skehan’s straight-on free kick from 45 yards out slipped straight through the uncontested hands of Mount View goalkeeper Zoe Mayhew, a slick ball on a wet morning proving tricky to handle.

“That won’t happen again,” Page said. “Zoe doesn’t do that. She played out of her skull the whole time and kept us in that game. She’s probably beating herself up about it more than anybody else is right now.”

Case in point was a leaping fingertip save in the 47th minute, with Mayhew (10 saves) nudging Skehan’s floater from 22 yards just over the crossbar.

The Mustangs enjoyed a 15-minute stretch midway through the second half with plenty of pressure, generating several corner kicks and offensive opportunities. But their inability to cash in on locking the Crusaders deep into their defending third of the pitch proved a significant blow to winning the match outright.

It took until the 68th minute for Coolen to score her second, off a solid strike from 20 yards out, a goal John Bapst answered through Britt five minutes later.

“We got Gabby out on the wing there, because I thought that was a place we could get some things started,” Page said. “We controlled and dominated like that for 10-15 minutes, but we’ve got to learn to finish.”

“I thought it was longer than 10 minutes. I felt like it was the entire second half,” Lammert said. “We did not win a 50-50 ball in the second half. We were waiting, watching what happened.”

The opening half was a study in contrasting styles.

Skehan’s omnipresence in the center of the park and ability to distribute dangerous passes from deep in the midfield sent Harriman in for the lead in the 14th minute.

Mount View’s physicality gave it momentum late in the half, with Allen’s free kick service springing Coolen free for her opening goal in the 25th minute.

“It’s not our favorite style of soccer,” Lammert said. “It’s different than the way we play, and they sort of drew us into their game for a bit. But all things considered, it was back and forth.”


Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: