OLD TOWN, Maine — The Caribou High School girls soccer team beat Old Town 4-0 in an Eastern Maine Class B matchup for its fifth straight win on Saturday afternoon but the score certainly wasn’t indicative of the play.
Old Town attempted 19 shots to Caribou’s 15 but the Vikings proved to be much more opportunistic.
Sophomore striker Sarah Doak set up senior striker Olivia Sleeper’s first-half game-winner and scored the second goal as Caribou improved to 6-2.
Clara Collins and Eileen Patton added insurance goals and sophomore goalkeeper Morgan Outing finished with 11 saves.
Sophomore Kayla Madden wound up with three saves for 4-3 Old Town.
“The game was a lot closer than the score,” said Caribou coach Todd Albert. “We were opportunistic. We had a few chances go in and they were a little unlucky.
“We didn’t play our best game but we played well enough to win,” added Albert.
“They had a lot more chances than we did but we practice finishing because we figure we’re not going to get many good chances so when we do, we need to finish them,” said Doak.
“The girls played their best team game of the season. We had at least three or four (good) chances but I told coach Albert that there was like a force in front of the goal. We shot up and over and around it. We just couldn’t quite put it in the back of the net,” said Old Town coach Chuck Neely.
Old Town senior midfielder Kelsey Maxim agreed with Neely’s assessment.
“We did play our best game but finishing has been our problem all season,” said Maxim. “That’s the main thing we need to work on.”
Sleeper’s 12th goal of the season came just 4:43 into the game and involved a nifty give-and-go with Doak.
Sleeper made a run down the left flank and fed the ball to Doak in the middle of the penalty area.
Doak appeared to have a good shooting angle but instead of shooting, she fed it back over to Sleeper whose low shot from a tight angle glanced into the near side off Madden.
“Sarah was able to get the ball wide to my feet and I was able to finish hard on the ground because of the conditions…the rain. It was hard to stop,” said Sleeper.
Madden expected Doak to shoot and said, “I lost the ball for a second. I got a tip of my finger on it.”
Both teams had chances later in the half but neither was able to convert.
Doak extended the lead with 24:52 left in the second half after the ball glanced to her off teammate Erin Patton.
Doak had lots of open real estate and was able to make a run down the middle before driving a powerful 22-yard shot into the top corner to the left of the helpless Madden.
“Luckily I got it outside the 18 (penalty area) away from pressure because they’re really good at guarding inside the 18,” said Doak, whose goal was her seventh. “They always have a little break right above the 18 and, luckily, Erin deflected it perfectly here. I was hoping for the best on that one and, luckily, I was able to put it right over [Madden’s] head.”
Old Town had its best chance of the game just moments later.
Old Town was awarded a free kick just outside the penalty area and Maxim cannoned a free kick that Outing was only able to knock down with her hands.
The rebound spilled to Carrissa Brackley, who alertly followed the shot and was unattended in front of Outing.
However, the ball bounced up, hit her knee and sailed over the crossbar from seven yards out.
“We were just unlucky today,” said Brackley.
Collins sewed up the win when her corner kick deflected in off a Coyote defender and Eileen Patton capped the scoring by slotting home a rebound after Madden had made rapid-fire back-to-back saves off Katelyn Tardie and Delaney Williams.
Speedy sophomore striker Rachel Martin was a constant threat for the Coyotes but Viking backs Reanna Plourde and Hannah Hebert turned in stellar performances as Caribou notched its third shutout in its last four games.