THORNDIKE, Maine — The Mount View boys soccer team was glad to have its full roster available Saturday after a week spent coping with sickness among team members.
The impact of that good health was apparent almost immediately, as the Mustangs scored three first-half goals to defeat Belfast 3-0 in a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B boys soccer match.
“It was nice to have everybody back today and it was nice to seem them come out with intensity right off the bat and play a good half,” said Mount View coach Chris Hink. “ In the second half I think we sat back more than we should have, so they know they have to bring it for 80 minutes, period.”
Senior striker Aaron Elkins scored two first-half goals and classmate Zoli Kertesz had a goal and an assist as the Mustangs rebounded from a 2-1 loss at Morse of Bath on Tuesday to improve their record to 4-1.
Belfast, playing without starting goalie Tyler Baker, who was unavailable for the contest, dipped to 3-2 after having its three-match winning streak halted.
“Compared to a normal day we didn’t have it,” said Belfast coach Burke Hazard. “We didn’t look good at all, in my opinion, and it wasn’t one or two people, it was everybody. We just were flat. It could have been any number of things but we didn’t play up to our potential for sure.
“Mount View played great, they have certain strengths that we tried to take away and we didn’t do that.”
Mount View struck less than three minutes into the contest, with Elkins scoring off an assist from Kertesz.
The play began on the defensive end where the Mustangs’ Cody Downer gained possession of the ball from a Belfast player and cleared it out of the defensive end. Teammate Tim Bennett then dribbled the ball ahead from midfield and passed ahead to Kertesz on the left wing.
Kertesz dribbled the ball toward the end line, then rifled a crossing pass to the middle of the penalty area where Elkins was waiting to redirect a low shot to the right of Belfast goalie Sam Kulikowski that gave Mount View a 1-0 lead with 37:03 left in the first half.
“One thing we’ve been working on is transitioning into a fast break,” said Kertesz. “We want to get the ball up as quickly as we can and Aaron is up top waiting, so I know if I pass him the ball he’ll finish it.”
The Mustangs doubled their lead 14 minutes later, again with Elkins finishing off the play.
Belfast tried to clear the ball from its defensive end, but Mount View’s Nic Stewart gained control in the middle of the field and passed it out to the left wing to Elkins, who blasted a left-footed shot over Kulikowski and into the far upper corner of the goal.
Kertesz capped off the scoring with 12:09 left in the opening period. Teammate Trevor Diemer sent a high ball toward the penalty area from the right wing that Kulikowski couldn’t catch. Kertesz was there to control the loose ball and shot it into the open net past a diving Belfast defender.
Senior goalie Chris Montminy preserved the shutout, making four saves on seven Belfast shots. He was aided by the Mount View defensive corps of Downer, Adam Higgins, Josh Savoy and Evan Lanphear.
Kulikowski made seven saves on 17 shots for Belfast.
The two teams meet again at 1 p.m. next Saturday, this time at Belfast.
“We’re excited about that,” said Hazard. “They’re the only team we play twice in the regular season so we’re looking forward to getting the chance to play them again, especially at home. They’re a good team so it should be another good game, but hopefully better for us than what we saw today.”