OLD TOWN, Maine — The Old Town High School girls soccer team used a late first-half goal from sophomore striker Rachel Martin and an exceptional defensive performance to edge Mount Desert Island 1-0 at Victory Field Monday.
Old Town won its third straight game after a season-opening 3-0 loss to defending Eastern Maine Class B champion Presque Isle and all three have been shutouts.
Mount Desert Island fell to 2-2.
Junior goalkeeper Hannah Shaw stopped Martin on a pair of break-ins in the first two minutes, parrying her rising shot off the crossbar and then comfortably saving a soft shot from the left flank.
But the third time was a charm for Martin, who was set up by sophomore midfielder Michaela Milton with 7:53 left in the first half.
Milton dispossessed an MDI defender along the right flank and fed a diagonal ball to an unmarked Martin in the middle of the field 30 yards from goal.
“I knew [Martin] was there. She’s usually open in the middle of the field waiting for a pass,” said Milton.
The aggressive Shaw came rushing out to confront her but Martin calmly dribbled away from Shaw and slid the ball under the diving goalie.
“It was a nice pass from Michaela,” said Martin, whose goal was her second of the season. “I looked up and saw [Shaw] coming out. So I knew I had to get around her and I kind of chipped it by her.”
“I felt like I had a bad angle,” said Shaw. “I was running out and I tried to dive on the ball but she slipped it under me. She’s really fast.”
Martin was a constant threat with her blistering speed, ball skills and tenacity.
MDI had two glittering chances midway through the first half but Allie Stanley hit the crossbar from the top of the penalty area with a rising shot and an Opal Curless corner kick bounced around dangerously near the Old Town goal line but was cleared by the Coyotes.
Sophomore midfielder Karah Hussey did an excellent job marking dynamic highly-skilled freshman striker Curless and Old Town’s back line of seniors Susie Outman and Kelsey Hesseltine and junior Miranda Gifford also turned in impressive performances.
“I just tried to stay with her,” said Hussey. “They worked a lot of give-and-gos with her. She went to the goal a lot. She’s a very good player.
“We tried to see the passes coming and intercept them before they got there,” added Hussey.
Hussey, Outman, Hesseltine and Gifford aggressively won 50-50 balls, rarely got beat in one-on-one situations, made timely clearances and limited the amount of time and space the Trojans had on the ball. They often double-teamed the ball possessor.
“They marked me very well for the entire game” said Curless.
Old Town coach Chuck Neely said he told Hussey to “make sure she knew where [Curless] was. She didn’t mark her all over the field, just in our defensive third.
“Our whole defense played well,” added Neely.
“They played flat across the back and they played it well,” said MDI coach Tom Savage. “We weren’t able to get put any balls through.”
Savage also said the goal gave Old Town valuable momentum for the rest of the game.
“After that goal, you could see things click an extra notch for them,” said Savage.
Kayla Madden faced nine shots but wasn’t required to make a save for Old Town while Shaw finished with seven saves on 15 shots and alertly came out of the penalty area on several occasions to clear balls out of danger.
The sure-handed Shaw also flawlessly handled several crosses.
Senior sweeper Summer Cast turned in a stellar performance for the Trojans.