Even though they were outplayed for large stretches of the game, Mount View proved to be opportunistic on Tuesday night.
That dynamic helped earn the Mustangs their first regional boys soccer championship since 1980 (in Class B).
Senior striker-midfielder Elijah Allen scored two goals to lead No. 3 Mount View of Thorndike to a 3-1 victory over George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill in their Class C North final at the rain-drenched Hampden Academy field.
Mount View, which was in Class B a year ago and reached the semifinals, improved to 15-2 and takes on Waynflete of Portland (15-2) in Saturday’s state final in Falmouth.
“We know how to finish and that wins games. We definitely didn’t expect them to be that good. We just knew we had to come in and do our jobs and win the game. That was the ultimate goal. We played pretty good but there’s always room for improvement,” Elijah Allen said.
David Gadsby scored for No. 4 George Stevens Academy, which concluded a 13-3 season.
“They finished plays and we didn’t,” said GSA coach Mark Ensworth. “They took advantage of their opportunities and we just couldn’t get [more] in.
“The kids played great. They gave it all they had,” Ensworth added.
Brennan Grant staked Mount View to a 1-0 lead just 8:07 into the game but Gadsby equalized 10:03 later.
Allen responded with the eventual game-winner with 14:49 left in the first half and added the all-important insurance goal just 6:40 into the second half.
The more aggressive Eagles had the lion’s share of possession, especially in the first half. They consistently won 50-50 balls by repeatedly stepping in front of the Mustangs to gain possession of it.
But the speedy Mustangs were dangerous on counterattacks and made better use of their scoring opportunities.
GSA generated 28 shot attempts to Mount View’s 16 but Mount View junior goalkeeper Ricky Nelson made 11 saves, including several gems, on a night when both goalkeepers struggled to hang on to the slippery ball.
“Tonight was like drenching your gloves in soap and then trying to catch the ball,” Nelson said. “You can’t do it with 100 percent dependency. They had some very solid and hard shots on me.”
GSA goalie Parker Allen wound up with four saves.
“We made a few mistakes and they capitalized on them,” GSA standout senior midfielder and tri-captain Owen Vinall said.
Elijah Allen scored what proved to game-winner following a throw-in. He controlled the ball in the corner to the left of the GSA goalkeeper, curled the ball into the crowded goal area and it skipped into the far corner.
“It was a cross [not a shot]. I had some room so I fed it across,” said Elijah Allen, who had two teammates parked in the goal area along with a GSA defender.
His second-half goal came when he fought his way through two defenders, maneuvered past another and slipped the ball behind Parker Allen.
The Mustangs played well with the lead in the latter stages of the game, getting numbers back to limit GSA scoring chances and also spending time pressing for insurance goals in the attacking third.
Grant opened the scoring by finishing off a pretty passing sequence.
Elijah Allen had the ball in the middle of the field and slid a short pass to his left to Atlas Hubbard, who spotted Grant racing down the left flank and put a perfect pass right into his path.
Parker Allen came rushing out and Grant calmly pulled the ball around him and slotted it into the empty net.
Gadsby tied it by taking the ball at the left side of the penalty area, pushing the ball to his right and sailing a perfectly-placed shot into the upper far corner.
The Eagles had several good chances early in the second half but Nelson came up with a number of important saves including two in rapid succession.
“[Nelson] played out of his mind. That’s one of the best games I’ve seen him play,” Elijah Allen said.