HAMPDEN ACADEMY’S Alex Ross, right, pressures Mt. Ararat's Kyle Brown (20) during a boys high school soccer KVAC contest in Topsham on Tuesday. The Eagles won their ninth straight with a 4-0 victory over the 3-7 Broncos.

HAMPDEN ACADEMY’S Alex Ross, right, pressures Mt. Ararat’s Kyle Brown (20) during a boys high school soccer KVAC contest in Topsham on Tuesday. The Eagles won their ninth straight with a 4-0 victory over the 3-7 Broncos.

TOPSHAM

Travis Nadeau’s first strike of the ball in Tuesday’s Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference boys soccer contest told the tale. This was going to be Nadeau’s night.

MT. ARARAT’S Dalton Streeter (3) sends a pass forward with Hampden Academy’s Alex Ross (10) closing in. The Eagles improved to 9-1 with a 4-0 KVAC victory over the Broncos on Tuesday in Topsham.

MT. ARARAT’S Dalton Streeter (3) sends a pass forward with Hampden Academy’s Alex Ross (10) closing in. The Eagles improved to 9-1 with a 4-0 KVAC victory over the Broncos on Tuesday in Topsham.

Nadeau scored four first-half goals, plenty of offense in Mt. Ararat’s 4-0 victory over Hampden Academy, giving the Eagles nine straight wins and a 9-1 mark.

“Travis, when he gets into the attack mode, is just hard to stop,” said Mt. Ararat coach Jack Rioux. “He has pace and has a great left foot. Plus, he is putting it on frame, which is always important.”

Nadeau was helped along by the passing of teammate Jimmy Pelletier, who earned two assists and had plenty of chances to find the net himself throughout Mt. Ararat’s dominating performance.

“It wouldn’t have worked without the assists, especially from Jimmy,” said Nadeau.

Early pressure

This one turned in Mt. Ararat’s direction right from the start. A dangerous throw-in by Dalton Streeter found the foot of Cole Kelly, whose shot was stopped by starting Hampden Academy (3-7) goaltender Sam Lilley in the game’s opening minute.

Lilley was injured on the play and left the game, with Broncos coach Josh Stevens inserting keeper Andrew Farnham.

Moments later, the Eagles struck. Pelletier gained control near midfield, ball handled through four Hampden defenders before feeding Nadeau at a full sprint. One stride and a hard left-footed shot later, the ball was in the back of Hampden’s net for a 1-0 Mt. Ararat lead.

“Space is so important, and these guys were able to get me the ball in space and I have time to move around,” said Pelletier. “I was able to get the ball to Travis, and he scored four goals. It was a big game for him.”

Three minutes later, Nadeau struck again, cleaning up another throw-in from Streeter for a 2-0 lead just 5:56 into the contest.

“The first five and 10 minutes of any game is huge, and we know that they are taking their lumps this year, so the start was important,” said Rioux.

“We have been getting early goals throughout the whole season, which gives us momentum throughout our games,” said Pelletier.

Mt. Ararat kept the pressure on the Hampden Academy defense, with Nadeau stopped twice from close range by Farnham, who had seven saves throughout the remainder of the first half.

There was little the Broncos’ goaltender was able to do on Nadeau’s final two goals. The sophomore gained control of a loose ball and sprinted past the Hampden defense before launching a low shot inside the right post with 11:51 remaining until halftime.

With 3:31 left on the clock, Pelletier again set up Nadeau, who made no mistake in giving his team a 4-0 lead at the intermission.

After seeing his team outshot 12-1 in the opening half, Stevens challenged his Broncos to “show some pride.” Hampden played a solid second half, finishing even in shots with Mt. Ararat (2-2) and standing up to the hard-charging Eagles.

“We have talked about it all season, that we haven’t played 80 minutes at a time. Tonight is a good example. You give up four goals in the first half, you’re not going to win many games. We came out in the second half and tried to match them physically, and we were competitive,” said Stevens, whose Broncos host Cony on Friday. “We are averaging less than three shots a game, and we were right on three. We have to find a way to carry it to the next game, something we haven’t been able to do yet.”

For Mt. Ararat, it gets tougher for the new Class A South Heal Point Standing leaders. The Eagles host No. 2 Bangor on Friday in a battle of 9-1 teams. Kickoff is slated for 6:30 p.m.

“Tonight was a big win. It gives us a confidence booster with Bangor coming here on Friday,” said Nadeau.

Mt. Ararat finished with a 14-3 shot advantage and led in corner kicks, 6-2. Hampden’s third goaltender, Cole Tweedie had two saves in the second half, while Mt. Ararat keepers Gavin Patterson and Jacob Laurence each had one save.

Mt. Ararat 4, Hampden Academy 0

At Topsham
Hampden — 0 0 — 0
Mt. Ararat — 4 0 — 4

Goals — (MtA) Travis Nadeau 4. Assists — (MtA) Jimmy Pelletier 2, Dalton Streeter. Shots on goal — Mt. Ararat 14, Hampden Academy 3. Saves — (H) Sam Lilley 1, Andrew Farnham 7, Cole Tweedie 2; (MtA) Gavin Patterson 1, Jacob Laurence 1. Corner kicks — Mt. Ararat 6, Hampden 2. Records — Mt. Ararat 9-1, Hampden 3-7. Up next for the Eagles — Friday at home against Bangor, 6:30 p.m.


Comments are not available on this story.