WINTHROP — The Mt. Abram boys soccer team is on its way to the Class C playoffs, and it will enter the postseason healthy and riding a hot streak.

Mt. Abram wrapped up the regular season with a 4-1 victory at Winthrop on Monday, its fourth win in five matches. The Roadrunners (11-3-0) are in line to play at No. 4 Maranacook in the quarterfinals, although seedings are from finalized.

“Pick your poison (for the playoffs),” Mt. Abram coach Darren Allen said. “I think we’re in a good bracket, but pick your poison. The top five (in the conference) are really tough teams. The Mountain Valley Conference, it’s Hall-Dale, us and Monmouth with very close matches between the three of us. Waynflete is really tough. And Donnie (Beckwith) does a great job at Maranacook. But I’m confident (in Mt. Abram).”

Winthrop goalie Jake Smith stops a shot from Mt. Abram’s Tyson Hill during a Mountain Valley Conference soccer game Monday O in Winthrop. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy

Mt. Abram scored its goals in the first 30 minutes of play, the first three off the foot of Kenyon Pillsbury.  The Roadrunners showed a strong attack throughout, and were especially strong with passing, setting up several breakaways or scoring opportunities via a cross.

“I had a couple nice (goals),” Pillsbury said. “My teammates set me up pretty well.”

Winthrop (6-8-0) showed fight despite being outmanned. Rowan Goebel-Bain scored for the Ramblers midway through the first half, off a header that knocked off the post and into the net. Mt. Abram responded mere seconds later, when Jonathan Jordan knocked a shot past Winthrop goalkeeper Jake Smith for the final 4-1 score.

“We talked about how well (Mt. Abram) changes fields, and how we have to get on the inside of their runs,” Winthrop coach John Baehr said. “The first three (goals), we didn’t get on the inside, they banged them in. I told them at the half, it should have been a 2-1 ball game if we had done it right.”

“I have lots of respect for John and his club,” Allen added. “We knew it would be a tough match. I just wanted to see a little more intensity from the guys — which I started to see after about 15 minutes — and work on some stuff…It was good, we came out of it with no injuries, but I have a lot of respect for (Winthrop).”

Smith was excellent game in net, making eight saves, including at least two diving stops that would have been sure-fire goals for Mt. Abram.

“I’m very proud of him,” Baehr said. “Jake’s been our rock all year, and he’s put in the effort. Last year, I recruited a big 6-8 kid in Cam Wood, and it was him and Jake (for the job), and Jake beat him out. We played Gardiner under the lights, and he stood on his head for a half. He’s been our starter the last two years, and he’s put effort in. He’s been putting effort in during the offseason. I’ve been proud of him all season long.”

Neither team scored in the second half, though Mt. Abram dominated possession to run the clock down. The loss was painful for the Ramblers, who entered the game No. 12 in the Class C South standings, one spot away from a postseason berth. A victory would have ensured a trip to the playoffs.

“This year, we battled injuries, we battled lots of things,” Baehr said. “We played Monmouth to a 3-0 game with a game plan. Today, we had a game plan, it was 4-1 and we scored…We’re a young team, and injuries have been killing us this year. But (Mt. Abram) is a great program. They’re classy and they play the game the right way. They’ve always been very good in the MVC. And we kind of want to be like them, to a point.”

 

Dave Dyer — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Dave_Dyer

Comments are not available on this story.

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.