HERMON, Maine — Ellsworth High School boys soccer coach Brian Higgins has always stressed restarts and, as a result, his Eagles have scored a ton of goals off them over the years.
Add two more to the list as junior striker Matt Duhaime’s fifth and sixth goals of the sea-son came off restarts after Zach Emeigh had opened the scoring with his eighth in Ellsworth’s 3-0 victory over Hermon Wednesday night.
Emeigh, also a junior striker, assisted on the Duhaime goals as the Eagles improved to 4-0-1.
The Hawks fell to 0-4.
“I figure if we score off a header and score a restart goal, we’ll be in the game,” said Higgins.
Hermon dictated play in the early going but Emeigh scored 5:42 into the game with the Eagles’ first shot at goal after he found himself in a one-on-one situation with a Hawk defender off a long clear by Kyle Haslam.
“Kyle chipped it over their defense and I ran on to it, got a couple touches and shot it,” said Emeigh. “I cut in front of their defender, the goalie came out a couple of steps and I put it to [goalie Cory Johnson’s] right.”
“Breakaways are hard. There’s not much I could do about that. I tried my best,” said Johnson.
Nine minutes later, Duhaime extended the lead off a Patrick Kelley throw-in that was flicked across the goalmouth by Emeigh, who was standing back to the goal at the near post.
The unmarked Duhaime headed it past the helpless Johnson from eight yards out.
“I was marking the goalie and I saw [the ball] hit the ground. I just hit it with my head and tried to get it in,” said Duhaime.
Just 1:16 later, Emeigh headed Jakob Jordan’s corner kick off the far post and Duhaime tapped home the re-bound from six yards out.
Duhaime said the Eagles work hard on restarts in practice and “Coach is real hard about them but, normally, it works out pretty good in games.”
The Hawks had their share of ball possession and tried val-iantly to rally but Ellsworth defended effectively and had plenty of players back in their penalty area to limit Hermon’s high-percentage scoring opportunities.
Hermon’s best chance came with 27 minutes remaining in regulation when Colton Gross’ powerful shot required a nice save by Jordan Carter that left a juicy rebound for an unat-tended Evan Reynolds. But Ry-enolds hooked his seven-yard shot across the goal-mouth wide of the far post.
Carter finished with five saves on 16 shots while John-son made seven saves on 25 shots.
“We played pretty well,” said Higgins. “Our marking backs, Spencer Small and Nick Kelley, probably did their best job of marking all year.”
Hermon coach Kurt Mathies thought his team gave a good account of itself.
“We move the ball better than just about anyone around. In between the 18s [penalty ar-eas], I feel we’re one of the strongest teams in Eastern Maine Class B. But, for what-ever reason, we’ve had a hard time finishing at both ends, offensively and defensively,” said Mathies.
“Ellsworth did a terrific job capitalizing on its opportunities. They had four [quality] opportunities and scored on three of them. They’ve always been very good at that,” added the Hermon coach.