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Girls' soccer: Goalkeepers step up as Oak Hill and Lisbon play to scoreless draw

WALES — Oak Hill goalkeeper Anna Dodge made the last save as the final seconds ticked down and then spiked the soccer ball like it was a football.

In a game that would be most appreciated by goalkeepers, Oak Hill and Lisbon finished their MVC girls’ soccer matchup tied 0-0.

Neither the Raiders nor the Greyhounds bombarded the goal Tuesday, but every time one had a nice chance, either Dodge, Lisbon’s Ali Sult or, occasionally, a crossbar were there to make a stop.

“Anna’s phenomenal, again and again,” Oak Hill coach Jeremy Young said. “She gets the balls that are surprising — not in that I’m surprised she gets to them, I’m just surprised that anyone gets to them.”

Dodge finished with six saves.

Sult, meanwhile, stopped seven shots.

“For our conference, I think she’s one of the best,” Lisbon coach Brian Dube said.

Stuffing shots wasn’t the only way Sult impaired the Raiders’ offense. Her long punts immediately shifted the Greyhounds from defensive to offensive mode, which left Oak Hill scrambling back to play defense.

“Their goalie’s long boots drove us back into our zone a little bit,” Young said.

Of course, behind every goalie is a firm crossbar. Two of the most dangerous, if not the most dangerous, scoring chances of the game were deflected by metal bars.

Late in the first half, Oak Hill’s Sydney Drew booted a burner that hit the right post.

“That was pretty scary,” Dube said.

In the waning seconds of the first overtime, Lisbon’s Sydney Douglass’ long flip throw-in from the right sideline looked like it had a chance to drop in the goal, but it hit the top crossbar.

In a game devoid of goals, the flip throws by Douglass and Oak Hill’s Kierra Rolston were among the offensive highlights.

“Some of our long throw-ins, I was hoping we could capitalize,” Dube said.

If it wasn’t the crossbar stopping the Greyhounds, and it wasn’t Anna Dodge, then it was probably Hannah Nadeau. At least that’s how it seemed to Dube.

“Player No. 6 (Nadeau) on defense that just, we could not get the ball by her,” Dube said. “Basically, the style we play is we try to hit some open holes — you know, give-and-gos — and we were able to do that, but every time it was time to really finish it up, it seemed like one of their fullbacks was there to clean it up. So, I mean, they played great.”

The Raiders (9-2-2) and Lisbon (6-3-4) played to a 2-2 deadlock in their first meeting of the season Sept. 6. The two coaches viewed the second draw a bit differently.

“I think, my girls, that’s as good as they can play. That’s kind of what I felt,” Dube said. “I’m happy with the effort.

“I mean, we wanted to win. We felt like the first time we played them this year we should have won, we were up 2-nothing.”

Oak Hill entered the game having won four straight games, and eight of nine games. And that one loss was fairly impressive, a 1-0 setback to 12-1 Madison.

“It’s frustrating. Knowing that they had three ties already, I had a feeling it might go to that,” Young said.

“But we’ve had a pretty good run of wins lately, so we were looking for the ‘W’. A tie is not a loss, but it’s not what we’re looking for.”

That being said, Young understands Dodge’s show of passion when the second overtime ended.

“We have a couple of natural rivals, and Lisbon and Monmouth end up being the bulk of them,” Young said. “It’s always a hard-fought when we play those two teams.

“I think the games are always a bit of a relief, and a bit of a, I don’t know, a celebration, when it’s not a loss.”

Both teams currently sit in fourth place in their respective regions, Oak Hill in B South and Lisbon in C South. Both have locked up postseason berths, and are jostling for position.

The Greyhounds and Raiders conclude their regular seasons this week: Lisbon hosts Boothbay (2-10) on Wednesday, and Oak Hill plays at Monmouth (11-1) on Thursday.

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