OLD TOWN, Maine — Defending two-time Class B North girls soccer champion Hermon High School finally received a stiff test on Thursday night after outscoring its first seven opponents 47-4 in building its winning streak against regional opponents in regular season and postseason play to 51 games.
In fact, Hermon trailed Old Town 1-0 at the half.
But senior striker Lyndsee Reed scored her 20th and 21st goals of the season and senior midfielder Jaylin Hills added an important insurance goal with 5:10 left as Hermon triumphed 3-1 to extend its winning streak to 52 games.
Hermon is now 8-0 while Old Town fell to 6-1.
Freshman midfielder Karina Dumond was credited with Old Town’s first-half goal when her cross was sliced into the goal by a Hermon player who had just entered the game and was trying to clear it out of danger.
Bella Bowden made two saves off 11 shot attempts for Old Town while Old Town goalie Danica Brown finished with 10 saves off 30 shots.
Pivotal play: Reed tied it eight minutes into the second half when a Madi Stewart pass deflected over to her at the top of the penalty area and she turned and launched a left-footed shot past Brown.
“I just turned and tried to get a foot on it, honestly,” Reed said.
“We settled down after that,” said Hermon coach M.J. Ball. “It was the type of game I wish we could have every week.”
Two minutes later Reed had a chance to give Hermon the lead off a penalty kick, only to have Brown make a nice save going to her right.
Reed broke the tie with 15:55 left off a perfectly placed corner kick by Stewart.
The unattended Reed, standing in the middle of the penalty area, volleyed the corner off the outside of her right leg past Brown.
Hermon took firm control of the game after that and pressed for a third goal, which it received off the foot of Hills.
“It was hectic in the first half but, in the second half, we focused on playing our game and we played the way we usually play,” said Reed, one of the Hermon captains. “They were great competition. At the beginning, they did really well pressuring us and making sure our passes weren’t connecting. It definitely kept us on our toes the rest of the game.”
Big takeaway: Hermon is a strong favorite to make it to three B North titles in a row, and don’t be surprised if Old Town is its opponent in the final.
Hermon has a lot of talent in every position led by seniors Reed, Saulter, Allison Cameron, Ally Coxson and Megan Dorr and the Hawks do a nice job possessing the ball.
Even though Hermon had a decided edge in possession in the first half, the stellar play of Old Town’s back line of Ally Caron, Saige Evans, Olivia Small and Sadie May limited the Hawks to very few good scoring chances.
Old Town is tenacious and athletic and swarms to the ball with purpose. They are 16-4-1 over their last 21 regular season games and are very good on set pieces.
Evans’ corner kicks and long throw-ins were dangerous.
What’s next: Hermon is scheduled to travel to Bar Harbor on Friday for a 4 p.m. game against Mount Desert Island while Old Town is hosting John Bapst of Bangor on Saturday at noon.