HOULTON, Maine — It was a match-up of force against finesse, and the speed of the Fort Kent girls soccer team proved too much for Houlton.
Particularly that of the quickest of the Warriors in forward Jamie Pelletier, who scored three goals, including two in the first half, to spearhead Fort Kent to a 5-2 victory here Tuesday evening.
Coach Kevin St. Jarre’s Warriors improved to 3-0 with the win while the host Shiretowners slipped to 2-1.
The fleet-footed Warriors dominated the attacking third early and often, and Taylor Boucher got them on the board in the 17th minute on a breakaway.
Then Pelletier took over.
Pelletier scored the Warriors’ next three goals, including one from just inside the penalty area with 11 seconds to play in the first half that gave the visitors a 3-0 advantage at intermission.
“It sort of came to me, it hit my knee, and I kicked it in,” said Pelletier, who capped her first career hat trick by kneeing home a penalty kick from Boucher in the 20th minute of the second half.
“It surprisingly went in the goal, because normally if it hits off your knee it goes flying,” Pelletier said.
“It was really exciting because I’ve never done it before,” added Pelletier, who nearly scored again near the end of the game, only to have the ball sail over the near post.
The Warriors’ back line was just as effective in keeping the Shiretowners from attacking the goal mouth, as a great number of Houlton’s 20 shots on net were generated from outside the penalty area.
“I really trust my defense,” said Fort Kent goalie Carissa Pelletier, who finished with nine saves.
“I think one of our real strengths is our defense, we really have a strong defense,” said St. Jarre. “They do deserve a lot of credit. The girls are quick, aggressive.”
Houlton got on the board 10 minutes into the second half as Vanessa Sanderson scored the first of her two goals off a corner kick from Chelsi Murray.
“It came off a corner and there was a girl and [Sanderson] was right there,” said Carissa Pelletier.
Sanderson’s second goal, which came in the 24th minute off a Courtney Putnam pass, was a similar situation, except not on a corner kick.
“We were still nervous at halftime ahead by three, I told them Houlton’s going to come and score some goals. They’re a good team,” said St. Jarre.
Shelby Taggett capped the scoring for the Warriors, knocking in a pass from Michela Desjardins near the top of the 18 with 8:15 to play.
The Warriors were carrying the momentum of Friday evening’s victory at Caribou into Tuesday’s contest.
“I think we just really came here and we really wanted it,” Jamie Pelletier said.
Houlton’s Madison Lizotte recorded 11 saves on 23 Fort Kent shots. The Warriors held a 6-5 advantage in corner kicks.