FARMINGDALE — The Hall-Dale girls soccer team allowed two goals all fall. The second one ended their season Tuesday.

Keira Alessi’s goal with 3:25 left lifted eighth-seeded Traip to a stunning 1-0 upset of top-ranked and previously unbeaten Hall-Dale in the Class C south quarterfinals at a muggy, misty Melvin H. Simmons Complex.

The Rangers (8-8) will visit No. 5 Waynflete, a 6-0 winner Tuesday over No. 4 Monmouth/Winthrop, in a regional semifinal game Saturday. Hall-Dale, which outscored its opponents 103-2 this season, finished 14-1.

“(Tuesday) was the best game we’ve played for the full amount of time, with the intensity level,” said Traip coach Michael Jackson, his voice shaking as he spoke. “First of all, to win; second of all, to score, right? They (Hall-Dale) are very good, they’re competitive, they fight. There’s a lot pressure being an undefeated team going into the tournament. We have a young team (only three seniors), and they competed today. They figured out how to do it.”

Hall-Dale had spent most of the second half chipping away at the Traip end of the field, with Rangers keeper Lily Stuart making several close-range stops among her 13 for the afternoon. But following a corner kick by Traip’s Santana Sawicki, Rangers freshman Avery Bouffard took control of the ball on the right side and fired a perfect cross to Alessi, who booted a low line drive to the right of Hall-Dale keeper Aubrey Gilbert (seven saves) and into the net.

“I noticed they weren’t marking their wide players, especially on the off side,” Alessi said. “So I went to the back post and when that ball came across the post, I just shot it right into the net.”


Added Bouffard: “I noticed that the number I was on (defender) kind of stayed up, so I just made her back from the ball by kicking it forward, and then I crossed it.”

The game marked a bitter end for Hall-Dale, which averaged 7.3 goals per game going coming into the game Tuesday. The Bulldogs’ stout defense was on display again against Traip, as sweeper Addison Tinkham kicked away any balls that came her way. Backfield mates Kadence Greenhalgh and Jenna Lee and midfielder Bethany Ives also frustrated the Rangers at every opportunity.

Traip’s Tegan Page, front left, plays tight defense on Hall-Dale’s Marie Benoit during a Class C South girls soccer quarterfinal game Tuesday in Farmingdale. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

“Soccer’s a funny game,” Hall-Dale coach Mark Tinkham said. “We dominated probably 80 percent of that game. We had several opportunities today where we didn’t finish. No matter how much you dominate the game on offense, you’ve got to have to goals on the board.

“All season, our defense has just been stellar. We haven’t let many in, and unfortunately, one snuck by us today.”

Traip’s defense was no slouch either. Led by sophomore Delia Hartley, the Rangers stopped several cross attempts by the Bulldogs’ Hayden Madore — who was among her team’s leading scorers — and 11 corners by Rita Benoit. Stuart stopped a pair of attempts by Marie Benoit late in the first half, and blocked shots by Rita Benoit and Lucy Gray midway through the second to preserve the scoreless tie.

“That’s her best game of the year,” Jackson said of Hartley. “Three of those four backs and the goalkeeper are sophomores.”

After Alessi’s goal, Hall-Dale made one furious final rush as dusk began to descend on the field. But Stuart stopped a couple more shots, including a diving saves with less than 10 seconds left, to preserve the upset.

“It’s about thanking the seniors for the time and effort they put in,” coach Tinkham said. “It’s also about burning this memory into your brain so that it sets a fire for next year.

“It’s a gut check; our story wasn’t supposed to end like this,” he added with a sad smile

Comments are not available on this story.