Alice Cockerham (left) prepares to put a ball on goal as Lisbon’s keeper Sarah Haggerty comes out to deny her the shot as Siara Martin looks from behind. (Eric Maxim / The Times Record)

LISBON -With both Mt. Abram and Lisbon each having only one loss entering Wednesday’s girls high school soccer match, they knew it was going to be a physical Mountain Valley Conference clash.

After playing to scoreless opening half, the home team tallied three goals from three separate players to defeat the Roadrunners 3-0.

“We absolutely knew this was going to be a physical game,” Lisbon coach Jenniffer Perron said. “We explained to the girls not to let that (style of play) get into their heads. We played level-headed today.”

Eight minutes into the second frame, Lisbon broke the ice, getting a tally from senior Sophia DiGregorio off Jordan Ott’s foot for the score. Less than 10 minutes later, Kiley Merritt blasted a shot on Mt. Abram goalie Emily Kidd (seven saves), where the keeper stopped the shot, but the rebound bounced away from her and Giana Russo was there to strike the ball to the back of the net, giving Lisbon a two-goal lead with 20 minutes to play.

Mt. Abram, only firing one shot on goal in the first half, applied more pressure on the Lisbon defense and netminder Sarah Haggerty in the second half. While several Roadrunner kicks either sailed left, right or above the net, any shot they did put on net, Haggerty turned away.

“Sarah has never been a goalie before this year and she was all for doing it,” Perron said. “She is a sponge, she wants to always learn. She has far exceeded my expectations for her.”

Not to mention the handful of times she came out of the net to stop a Mt. Abram chance.

Mt. Abram’s Brynna Zelie and Lisbon’s Emma DiGregorio battle for a lose ball during the first half of a high school girls soccer game. (Eric Maxim / The Times Record)

“Tonight she was aggressive and made some really good choices,” added Perron. “There’s been times where she has held back a little, being young at this, but today she really showed her aggressiveness and made some smart decisions.”

“My goalie coach (assistant coach Butch Dow) is always telling me not to wait, but always be the first one there to get the ball and really be aggressive,” Haggerty said.

Much like the first half, the Lisbon defense continued to buckle down on the visitors, limiting any chances near the net by the Lisbon defense.

“We work really hard on the rotations so that we have coverage at all times,” Perron said. “If our sweeper is up, our stopper slides back at sweep and so forth. We have that rotation in the back so that we make sure we’re covered. We knew they had some quick girls and they were physical, so we knew we had to communicate well.”

Siara Martin directed traffic on defense, positioning Erica Hill, Caitlyn Hall and Abbel Lebel throughout the game, marking up on Mt. Abram’s front line, including Summer Ross and Alice Cockerham.

Haggerty credits her defense with assisting her in net.

“They really help me out a lot of the time and I appreciate them a lot,” said the sophomore of her defense in front of her.

For Mt. Abram, the missed opportunities are something the Roadrunners will take and learn from.

“It was frustrating,” said Mt. Abram coach Lanie Roy, who took over the team during the third week of the season. “Our word of the season is ‘adversity’ as we’ve been dealing with it quite a bit this season. We were expecting this kind of play today, battling to get the chances we had and working together in a hard game. Overall, if some of those balls went a different way it could have been a different game.”

The win improved Lisbon to 4-1-1 and will take on Spruce Mountain on Friday at 4 p.m. Mt. Abram fell to 6-2 and hosts Monmouth on Saturday.

Lisbon’s Jordan Ott (5) carries the ball outside as Mt. Abram’s Brynna Zelie defends. (Eric Maxim / The Times Record)

Mt. Abram’s Summer Ross (15) looks down field as Lisbon’s Carly Drischler (14) defends. (Eric Maxim / The Times Record)

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