Lisbon boys soccer player Hunter Brissette (18) controls the ball in front of Oak Hill’s Caleb Valliere during Saturday’s MVC contest. (Bob Conn / The Times Record)

LISBON — Lisbon High School boys soccer coach Shawn Rhoda admits that he is still learning the strengths and weakness of his Greyhounds during his first season at the helm.  

Early in the year, senior DJ Douglass played a key role on defense, moving from his usual striker/midfield spot. However, Rhoda felt he needed more offense, and the versatile Douglass was the man for the job.  

Douglass tallied two goals for the second straight game as the Greyhounds dispatched Oak Hill, 2-1, on Saturday in Mountain Valley Conference action, giving Lisbon a 7-1 record. The Raiders fell to 4-4.  

Tied 1-1 in the second half, Douglass converted a rebound of an Elijah Fullerton bending corner kick that bounced off the hands of Oak Hill goalie Cole Whitten for a 2-1 Lisbon lead with 24:18 left.  

“It is nice to have that option with DJ. He has been striking the ball well the past two games,”

Lisbon;’s DJ Douglass (20) has his eyes on the ball while avoiding oncoming Oak Hill defender Max Hall (19) in Saturday’s MVC boys soccer game at Lisbon. Douglass scored both Lisbon goals as his Greyhounds slipped past Hall’s Raiders, 2-1. (Bob Conn / The Times Record)

Rhoda said. “You have to be defensive and offensive at the same time — and be able to switch. We are fortunate to have a guy that can provide that for us. DJ has been playing great.” 

“Coach moved me up and we have been killing it since,” said Douglass, who described his game-winning goal. “It should have probably been a dangerous call. My foot was up a little bit. I took a corner kick from the other side in the first half and almost bent it in. Elijah did the same thing, and the rebound came right to me. I was able to put it in.” 

Douglass scored the opening goal 12:31 into the game. Fullerton chipped a pass over the Oak Hill defense. Douglass hustled to beat his defender before toeing his shot past an oncoming Whitten (eight saves).  

Oak Hill defenseman Hunter McKenzie (16) battles with Lisbon’s Danny Stewart on Saturday at Lisbon in MVC soccer action. The Raiders fell to the Greyhounds, 2-1. (Bob Conn / The Times Record)

But from there, it was the Raiders that controlled play. The visitors turned to the possession game and had the Lisbon defenders chasing the ball all over the field.  

We like possession for our team, and the theory is if they don’t touch the ball, the other team doesn’t score,” said Oak Hill coach Bill Worth, whose Raiders visit Wiscasset/Boothbay on Tuesday. “Possession worked for us in scoring the tying goal.” 

Caleb Leighton finished off the hard work of Riley Worth, who slipped between a pair of Greyhounds before sending a low pass to Brady Bangs. The ball glanced off Bangs’ foot, with Leighton tapping the loose ball past Lisbon keeper Sean Moore (five saves) with five minutes left until halftime.  

Lisbon made adjustments at halftime.  

“We moved our system around a little bit, as we started with a 4-3-3,” said Rhoda.

Oak Hill midfielder Riley Worth (10) dribbles between Lisbon’s Danny Levesque (7) and Jacob George during Saturday’s MVC boys soccer game at Lisbon. The Greyhounds slipped past the Raiders, 2-1. (Bob Conn / The Times Record)

“We haven’t played with the lead much. So today we tried to get that lead. But I thought we became kind of chaotic and switched to a 4-5-1, trying to contain the middle of the field.”  

Douglass’ winning goal forced Oak Hill into attacking the Lisbon defense.  

“They got that other goal and we had to change our approach and not play that slow possession pace,” said Coach WorthWe had to start attacking their goal on almost every opportunity. It was hard to get the ball through when they were packed in the box.”  

After hosting Carrabec on Tuesday, the schedule certainly will challenge the Greyhounds. Lisbon visits top-tiered Hall-Dale on Thursday and hosts Monmouth Oct. 7. The Greyhounds also face Mt. Abram on the road (Oct. 11) and close the regular season at home against Hall-Dale (Oct. 17).  

“For us, it is about getting better every time we play. I would rather play those types of teams. They will make us better,” Rhoda said. 

Through eight games, the Raiders have faced several stern tests, with challenges expected to come from Winthrop (Thursday) and Monmouth (Oct. 9).  

“We started out with Monmouth and Mt. Abram, down 0-2 right away. We can keep our heads up being 4-4 at this point of the season,” Bill Worth said. 

Lisbon finished with a 10-6 edge in shots on goal and a 7-4 advantage in corner kicks. 

 

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