ORONO, Maine — There were scoring opportunities galore during Wednesday’s entertaining schoolboy soccer game between Class B Hermon High School and Class C Orono.
But it was the Hawks who proved to be the opportunists as senior striker Alex Pelletier scored a pair of goals and assisted on Nick Carle’s game-winner as the Hawks beat Orono 3-0.
Hermon improved to 3-2-2 while Orono fell to 4-2 with both losses coming at the hands of Hermon.
Hermon won their mutual season-opener 1-0 on Sept. 1.
The three goals came during a span of 12:32 late in the first half.
Carle broke the scoreless tie when Pelletier gave him a through ball and he directed it past onrushing Orono goalkeeper Einar Loktu, who got tangled up with a teammate.
“Alex and I kind of looked at each other and I made a run,” said Carle, whose goal was his second of the season. “Alex sent me through and I got a toe on it and it went right under [Loktu’s] feet.”
Cameron Hawes fed a nice ball across to Pelletier 6:51 later and the alert striker slid it into the near corner past Loktu, who had raced off his line to try to cut the shooting angle.
“I saw the goalie coming out and I just kicked it past him,” said Pelletier.
Pelletier capped the scoring with 1:48 left in the half as he finished off a beautiful passing sequence.
Chris Allen won a loose ball at midfield, took a few touches and lofted a ball ahead to Hunter Clukey.
Clukey was being confronted by Loktu and smartly skimmed the ball off his head across the top of the penalty area to the unattended Pelletier.
“I had the open net,” said Pelletier, whose goals were his second and third of the season.
“We tried to send our [strikers] because we knew their goalie was going to be aggressive in coming out,” said Hermon coach Scott Deabay. “So we tried to chip it over their defense and run on to it before their goalie could come on to it.”
The desperate Riots generated several glittering chances in the second half, but Brendon Dyer made seven of his 10 saves in the final 40 minutes, and the Riots missed the net on several occasions.
“We knew this was going to be a tough game,” said Dyer. “We really needed this win, so I came out with the mentality to hold them to no goals and I did it.”
“They struck the ball well, but, luckily, most of them went right at me.
They didn’t hit the corners well,” added Dyer, who was aided by defenders William Mixer, Mitchell Lynds, Jacob Applebee, Jeremy Beaulieu, Matthew Cullens and Jared Cox.
Speedy and influential Orono striker Matt Cloutier chipped an opportunity off the crossbar early in the second half and, in the waning seconds, Conor McKaig sent Cam Stockley in alone, but Stockley’s shot went right at Dyer, who parried it away with his right hand.
The energetic and determined McKaig made several impressive runs to try to get his team back into the game. He attempted eight shots over the final 40 minutes.
Orono finished with a 25-23 advantage in shot attempts.
Loktu wound up with four saves.
“It was a very important win for us,” said Deabay. “It was a real good game. Both teams played well. We controlled the first half, but they came out with more energy in the second half.”
“We controlled the field and made the passes,” said Orono coach Waldo Caballero, “but we didn’t [finish]. That’s something we need to work on.”