HAMPDEN, Maine — Two decisions by Hermon High School boys soccer coach Scott Deabay played major roles in the Hawks defeating Mount Desert Island of Bar Harbor 3-0 in an Eastern Maine Class B prelim game at Hampden Academy.
Seventh-ranked Hermon (6-5-4) will play No. 2 Camden Hills in the quarterfinals Wednesday in Rockport.
The first decision came earlier this year when Deabay moved senior Nick Carle up to the midfield.
“We moved him up from stopper because he’s a little taller, a little more aggressive and we needed that on the offensive end,” said Deabay of his senior midfielder, who stands well over 6 feet tall.
Carle registered a goal and an assist and was also a key to disrupting the Trojans’ movement in the middle of the field.
“He’s a great, talented player and a great athlete,” said Deabay.
“He’s the heart and soul of the middle of our field,” he added.
The second decision came Saturday before the game started when Deabay opted to play with the wind in the second half.
“If we could hold them and go into the second half with the wind, I thought that would help a little bit,” said Deabay.
And that’s the way it worked out. After holding No. 10 MDI (6-7-2) scoreless in the first half, the Hawks used the wind to their advantage and started dominating play.
Following a couple of good chances off direct kicks in the second half, Hermon finally converted off a corner kick to the left of MDI goalie Simon Hulbert.
Junior Jacob Applebee started the play by booting the ball to the front of the goal and high. Carle, a high jumper for the Hawks’ track teams, outleaped the Trojan defenders and headed the ball into the upper left part of the goal past Hulbert’s outstretched arms with 25:30 remaining.
Sophomore Hunter Clukey added an insurance goal with 16:56 left when he contested a high ball that Hulbert was trying to grab. Clukey headed the ball out of Hulbert’s upraised arms and into the net for a 2-0 lead.
“That was an awesome play and that’s what we’ve been trying to get our players to do more — don’t concede anything,” said Deabay. “They’re finally getting that message and going after it.”
Four minutes later, Carle accepted a pass in the middle on the run and dribbled ahead as the MDI defenders converged. Carle slipped a pass through them that sophomore Tim Verill ran onto, and Verill’s quick boot on the fly completed the scoring.
“They played with a lot of strength and power,” said MDI coach Michael Curless.
MDI’s best chances came early as a shot by senior midfielder Max Mason went over the crossbar in the eighth minute of the game, and a direct kick three minutes later went just over senior captain Chris Clemens’ head. Sophomore midfielder Jack Sasner passed to Mason with 18:10 left, but that went awry as well, and senior forward and captain Audyn Curless’ unmarked blast from the left side was punched out by Hermon goalkeeper Brendon Dyer.
“Once we got behind, it was hard to get the momentum going back the other way,” said Michael Curless.
Clemens, a midfielder, left with a leg injury toward the end of the first half and that hampered the Trojans’ comeback as well.
Dyer made four saves — all in the first half — on eight MDI shots, while MDI’s Hulbert made five saves on nine Hermon shots.