HAMPDEN, Maine — Despite a dominating first-half performance, the Hampden Academy girls soccer team was holding just a 2-1 lead entering the second half of its game against Messalonskee High School of Oakland on Tuesday night.
But sophomore striker Abby Lord scored twice in the first 5:20 of the second half to give the Broncos some well-earned breathing room and they want on to post a 6-1 victory.
Hampden Academy extended its unbeaten streak to five games (3-0-2) while snapping 3-5 Messalonskee’s three-game winning streak.
Lord scored her third goal late in the game.
Senior midfielder Naomi Shearer set up Lord’s first two goals with precise passes.
On the first one, Lord received the ball 15 yards from the goal, pushed it to her left and tucked a low shot inside the far post to the right of Messalonskee goalkeeper Taylor Easler just 1:14 into the second half.
“Coach said look for the net and turn (to the) middle instead of passing back so I took a move to get to the middle and put it to the goalie’s right,” said Lord.
Lord found herself unattended in the middle of the box on the next one.
“I didn’t have to do much. The goalie was coming out at me so I put it to her side,” said Lord, who kept her composure and slotted it home.
Brianna Cota expanded the lead with a well-placed shot from the top of the 18 off an Erin Jeter corner before Lord capped the scoring.
“We really picked it up in the second half,” said center midfielder Jeter. “Once we got those couple of goals right off in the second half, that helped us pick it up.”
Hampden Academy opened the scoring just 3:39 into the game when Jeter curled a pass from Cota over Easler’s head into the far corner from 16 yards out.
HA nearly extended the lead minutes later only to have MollyAn Killingbeck clear Melissa Reichel’s shot off the line with Easler beaten.
The Broncos continued to press for goals only to surrender a goal on a counter when freshman Mckenna Brodeaur, who had given the Eagles a lift since entering the game just moments earlier, made an impressive run down the right flank before sending a low cross into the goalmouth where Kassaki McPherson directed it into the corner to goalie Sami Bowler’s left from 10 yards out.
But Shearer gave the Broncos the lead for good with 12:21 left in the half with a nifty individual effort as she freed herself from Eagle defenders before breaking free down the right side of the penalty area and beating the onrushing Easler.
“I just wanted that goal to go in so I put everything into it,” said Shearer. “The goalie came out and I put it under her.”
The aggressive Easler had an outstanding game, finishing with 15 saves on 41 shots and coming off her line on several occasions to kick the ball safely with Broncos converging on her.
“She was very good,” said Shearer whose father, Warren, is coaching the team after Gina DeSantis took a job in New York 10 days ago.
DeSantis does communicate with Shearer on a regular basis and will return to help coach the team from time to time.
Messalonskee coach Penny Stansfield was without three injured starting defenders and said her team played well.
“They were organized and they’re improving every single game,” said Stansfield. “I was thrilled with the first half and happy with the whole game.”
Bowler wound up with three saves on 13 shots.
JV: Hampden 8-0