OAKLAND — The best boys soccer team that nobody has ever heard of would be more than happy to properly introduce itself when the Class C state final kicks off Saturday afternoon in Falmouth.

After becoming the first Mount View team to win a Class C North championship since 1980, when it lost to Maine Central Institute in the title game, the Mustangs line up against Class C South champion Waynflete on Saturday with plenty to prove. The little school in Thorndike boasts one of the state’s best players in senior Elijah Allen, a defense that rarely concedes goals and an unblemished record against Class C opposition in 2019.

Even with all of that, people have taken relatively little notice of Mount View’s budding dynasty.

Mount View sophomore Declan Knowlton, right, takes on George Stevens defender Ben Hallett during the Class C North championship game Tuesday night at Hampden Academy. Morning Sentinel photo by Rich Abrahamson

“Nobody even thinks about us,” said first-year head coach Jeremy Von Oesen, who also coaches the Unity College men’s and women’s teams. “We haven’t been talked about. Look at the (All-Star teams) and we have have one in Class C,  because none of those teams that voted even saw us. Everyone knows about Eli, but people don’t realize how good some of our other pieces are.”

Allen has a team-high 29 goals this season, and 79 for his career with the Mustangs, and would love to hit the 30-80 plateaus against the Flyers.

It won’t be easy, but Allen says Mount View can challenge the defending state champs.

“We know that it’s not going to be the same as playing at home, but that’s why we’re doing this (practicing on Messalonskee’s turf field) to get ready for it,” Allen said. “Maybe it’s gotten a little more intense as we’ve gotten deeper into the playoffs, but we’ve gotten used to it now.”

Junior goalkeeper Ricky Nelson liked the Mustangs’ prospects as early as this summer.

In an annual trip to Mt. Abram for an 8-on-8 tournament in late July, Nelson heard the naysayers — some of the loudest voices within Mount View’s own community — despite being part of a program that had just one regular-season loss over the previous two autumns.

Some of Nelson’s reason for optimism came directly from Von Oesen, who took over for Dale Hustus prior to the start of this campaign. That, and the Mustangs are 14-2-0, with their only losses against Class B North playoff teams Medomak and Winslow.

Immediately, the keeper noticed a change in philosophy. Instead of the Mustangs fragmenting themselves into three distinct position groups — “the strikers played with the strikers, the midfielders played with the midfielders and the backs just booted the ball and hoped to God that somebody else could get it,” Nelson said — they performed as one 11-man unit.

The proof was evident.

“It’s a little bit different this year,” said Allen of the team’s cohesiveness. “It’s been four years with them. We lost a lot of kids last year, but these are the kids I’m more friendly with (and) have played with a little bit longer.”

In 14 regular season games, Nelson kept eight clean sheets. The team allowed just 10 goals prior to the start of the postseason, with seven of those coming against Class B sides. Two others came against Maranacook in a 5-2 Mount View victory, in which the Mustangs became the first team in 17 seasons to score more than three goals against the Black Bears.

“We’ve been able to work together in a way I don’t think we have for, well, 40 years,” Nelson said. “What we’ve been able to do really well is pull out the field and stretch out the other team.”

If the Mustangs are able to possess the ball and win aerial battles against a very skilled Waynflete side Saturday, Allen said, he likes Mount View’s chances.

Even still, becoming just the second regional champion in program history is something to be proud of, right?

Not exactly.

“It’s a pretty exciting time, but it’s definitely not enough,” Allen said. “We’ve got to take the best part of our game from every game this year and put it all together for the last one. That’s the goal, really.”

Von Oesen says his team is ready for the challenge.

“Sometimes the kids just have to believe a little bit,” Von Oesen said. “I feel like these kids believe right now. It’s the first time in 39 years we’ve been here and the whole community is talking about it, but all they talk about is getting to the next game.”

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