Friday, December 13, 2013
By EARL SWINSON Special to the Press Herald
TOPSHAM - Torri Pelletier and Celia Ouellette scored, and Christine Levesque and Ouellette added assists as eighth-seeded Mt. Ararat shut out No. 9 Edward Little 2-0 in an Eastern Class A girls' soccer prelim Friday.
The Eagles (10-5) had beaten the Eddies twice by 3-0 scores during the season, but Ouellette said her teammates did not treat their opponents lightly.
"That's not how we wanted to go into it," said the senior striker. "We were very focused, and ready to go all out and play our game."
"It's difficult to play a team three times," said Mt. Ararat Coach Sam Chard. "I just had to keep the kids pumped up and told them anything can happen -- a bad bounce, a lucky shot. ... Edward Little played hard but we stepped up to the challenge and kept our intensity."
The Eagles controlled play early, but a shot by Ouellette hit the crossbar.
"We possessed well but couldn't find the net. We have to shoot better," said Chard.
The misfires ended at 12:31 when Ouellette took a pass from Levesque on the left and crossed to Pelletier in front of the right post. Pelletier sent a sharp header into the middle of the net from 15 yards.
"She's good with the ball in the air," Ouellette said of the freshman striker. "She doesn't hesitate."
"That was my biggest goal of the year," said Pelletier. "We practice crosses and headers a lot, and it worked just like in practice. It was awesome."
Ouellette just missed the right post as keeper Taylor Landry came out to challenge in the opening minute of the second half. Five minutes later, Eagles keeper Michelle Pelletier came up with a leaping save of a Kory Norcross threat.
"We played better this time and had some opportunities," said Edward Little Coach Craig Latuscha. "It was only 1-0 and if we scored there, who knows what could have happened."
Ouellette scored an insurance goal at 19:47 after Levesque chased down the ball in the left corner. Levesque controlled, turned and sent the ball to the far side, where Ouellette put it inside the post.
"I went for the header but missed and ended up pushing it in with my body," said Ouellette.
The Eddies (7-8) had their best chance a minute later when Lexi Clavet slipped a grounder past a diving Michelle Pelletier, but Chelsea Crawford backed up the play and was able to clear the ball away.
"They're better than an eighth seed," Latuscha said of the Eagles. "But we hadn't been to the playoffs for four years and we won seven games. I'm very proud of the girls."