The undefeated Hermon High School girls soccer team found itself in an uncharacteristic position in Tuesday night’s matchup against once-beaten Ellsworth.
The Hawks were trailing 2-0 early in the first half on a pair of goals by high-scoring Ellsworth senior Addi Laslie.
But late first-half goals by Hermon’s Lyndsee Reed and Michaela Saulter tied it up and the Hawks received second-half goals from Sydney Gallop, Reed (2) and Madi Higgins to run their record to 7-0 by virtue of a 6-2 victory at Pollard Field in Hermon.
Reed’s hat trick gave her 15 goals on the season. The tenacious Reed, who was around the ball all night, could have had an even better evening but she hit the post three times.
Ellsworth is now 7-2 with both losses coming at the expense of Hermon.
Junior striker Reed began the comeback with a pretty volley off the inside of her left foot from a Saulter corner kick. Reed directed it into the far corner to the left of Eagles freshman goalie Jayden Sullivan.
“I was just trying to get something on it,” Reed said.
Senior striker Gallop said that was the game’s pivotal goal.
“That got us started,” Gallop said.
Saulter tied it with a well-placed penalty kick to the right of Sullivan after a tripping infraction in the penalty area.
Gallop gave Hermon the lead for good early in the second half with her 19th goal of the season and 97th of her career.
She launched a perfectly placed 30-yard shot from the left side into the upper far corner past senior goalie Margarita Nadeau.
“I looked and I knew a defender was on me. I figured if I dribbled, they would attack me so I shot it,” Gallop said.
Reed extended the lead off a pass from Gallop as she rocketed a left-footed shot into the short side corner from 15 yards out.
Hermon sophomore goalkeeper Bella Bowden preserved the two-goal lead when she ranged to her right to get her hand on Paige Sawyer’s free kick, which was labeled for the upper corner.
Bowden came up with another nice save off Sawyer, holding the near post after Sawyer raced into the penalty area down the right side.
Higgins made it 5-2 when she intercepted an Ellsworth clearing attempt and lofted a 35-yarder over Nadeau’s head.
Reed capped the scoring with 25 seconds left as she worked her way open and drilled a 12-yard shot past Nadeau.
Laslie opened the scoring when she took a pass from Sawyer along the left side and sailed a rising 20-yard shot that deflected into the net off the hand of Bowden.
She extended the lead with a powerful shot from the top of the penalty area off a Morgan Clifford pass.
Hermon, the defending Class B North champion from 2019 since there weren’t Maine Principals Association-sanctioned playoffs last fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic, generated 40 shot attempts to Ellsworth’s 13, including a 23-5 edge in the second half.
Bowden finished with seven saves while Nadeau (5) and Sullivan (4) combined for nine for Eric Terrill’s Eagles.
The Hawks had three glorious chances to take the lead in the first 10 minutes.
Reed had a pair of break-ins, hitting the far post with her first effort and shooting into Sullivan’s midsection on the second one.
Sullivan then saved Gallop’s penalty kick, holding it against her chest after an Eagle inadvertently caught Saulter’s corner kick for a handball.
“I wasn’t happy about the two goals we gave up but I was very pleased about the six we scored,” said Hermon coach M.J. Ball. “The girls showed a lot of character coming back after being two goals down. I told them at halftime to just settle down.”
Gallop and Reed said Ellsworth has a quality team and that the Eagles really challenged them.
“We didn’t win 50-50 balls in the first half but we won them in the second half,” Gallop said.