HERMON, Maine — Holding a 1-0 lead after an evenly-played first half, the undefeated Hermon High School girls soccer team wasted little time establishing a strong foothold in the second half of the Class B North game with John Bapst of Bangor Wednesday night at a chilly Pottle Field.
Junior striker Alex Allain, who had scored a late first-half goal, notched goals just 1:47 apart in the first 3:12 of the second half to send the Hawks on their way to a 4-0 triumph.
Emma Allmon scored the other goal for Hermon, which is 12-0 and posted its seventh shutout of the season and fourth in a row.
John Bapst fell to 9-3-1, and it was its first road loss of the season as the Crusaders had been 5-0 away from home.
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“We talked at the half about being a little more composed with the ball and trying to find that final pass. But when you have a special player like Alex, she can take over a game at any time. Tonight was proof of that,” said Hermon coach M.J. Ball.
Allain said the Hawks were “hungry” to beat the Crusaders, especially after their 1-0 victory on Sept. 5.
“That was a really rough game,” said Allain, who has 28 goals this season along with 10 assists. “We’re really pumped about this win.”
Allain opened the scoring with 9:02 left in the first half off a pass from sophomore Emily Smith, who had just come off the bench 55 seconds earlier.
“From the way I touched the ball [off the pass], it was a big touch, so I knew I was going to get between the two [John Bapst] girls,” said Allain. “When the goalie [Kayla Massey] came out at me, I knew I had to get it around her. So I cut around her and slipped it in.”
She expanded the lead just 1:25 into the second half after she gathered in a Sierra Snow pass in the left corner.
“I cut it back and saw the [far] corner of the net,” said Allain, whose powerful and well-placed shot cleanly beat Massey, who had no chance on it.
Just 1:47 later, Olivia Nash slid the ball across the penalty area to Allain, who made a run down the right flank.
“Their first defender whiffed on it, and the second defender didn’t see me coming in behind her,” said Allain, who directed the 9-yard shot through Massey’s legs.
“We had five bad minutes, and that sunk us,” said John Bapst coach Jenn Plourde. “I was pretty happy with the way we played in the first half. We limited their shots and through balls, which they are real good at. But they stretched us out a little bit more in the second half and picked us apart when we weren’t doing our jobs as a team.
“[Allain] finished. You’ve got to give her that,” said Plourde. “They were all good goals. There was nothing cheap about their goals. There weren’t any from way outside. They were well-earned goals.”
“We came out strong in the second half,” said senior Bri Saulter, Hermon’s tireless standout midfielder.
Allmon closed out the scoring by converting a Grace Page corner kick from 14 yards out.
Both goalies made a number of quality saves.
Megan Chamberlain finished with nine saves on 18 shots at goal for Hermon, and Massey wound up with six on 22 shots.
Senior Emi Higgins was outstanding in the back for the Hawks, who had to contend with the Crusaders’ talented and speedy one-two punch of Gina Cambria and Grace Philippon.
Cambria, who had 10 of John Bapst’s 18 shots, had the Crusaders’ best chance late in the first half when her well-struck 18-yard shot off an Eilidh Sidaway pass went off Chamberlain’s hands and off the crossbar before Higgins cleared the ball out of danger.
Cambria had another good chance off a Philippon feed late in the game, but Chamberlain held the near post and parried the shot around the post.
JV: John Bapst 4-3