Auburn, ME - With the new YSCC playoff format, the #4 Central Maine Mustangs hosted the #5 team Vermont Technical College in a preliminary conference tournament game. The Mustangs were eager to take on the Knights in their third meeting of the year and their final home game of the season honoring seven players who will be graduating this spring.
Using an offensive heavy formation, Central Maine did not start off as strong as they would have liked and ended up playing more of a two-way game than they planned in the first five minutes but eventually took control of the midfield and began to attack with balls through the Vermont defense. In the 13th minute Bradie Reynolds (Farmington, ME) brought the ball down the right side and found Lauren Clough (Mount Vernon, ME) in the middle of the goal area who slipped the ball through to Samantha Belardo (Russell, MA) to put the Mustangs up 1-0. Three minutes later a scramble in front of the Knight keeper resulted in a Deliah Schreiber (Lisbon, ME) goal assisted by Leya Harvey (Poland, ME) for a 2-0 lead.
The energized Mustang offense then took control and a long shot by Clough over the Vermont keeper's head found the back of the net to put Central Maine up 3-0. At the 32-minute mark, Belardo would notch her second goal of the game to give the Mustangs a comfortable 4-0 lead.
Central Maine came out for the second half somewhat disorganized and quickly gave control to the Knights for the first ten minutes and a Cierra Favreau goal at the 58 minute mark put Vermont Tech on the scoreboard. The Mustangs regrouped, switched to a four-back formation and regained control of the game and in the 67th minute, a corner kick by Cassi Smeltzer (Waldoboro, ME) curled into the Vermont net to put the Mustangs up 5-1.
That would be all of the scoring until the final 30 seconds of the game when a red card issued to Vermont Tech goalkeeper Ashley Thompson resulted in a penalty kick, converted by Rachel Dunn (Marshfield, MA) to end the game in a 6-1 Mustang win. Central Maine outshot Vermont Tech by 25 to 6. Skyler Henry (Waterford, CT) made 3 saves on 4 shots on goal for the win.
Central Maine would like to thank the Mustang men's and women's basketball teams, ice hockey team, softball, and baseball teams for all of their support at home games this season, along with the many parents, students, teachers, and high school coaches and players who attended throughout the season.
The Mustangs travel to Concord, New Hampshire on Saturday, October 26th to play the #1 seed and host team NHTI in a YSCC Final Four semi-final game.