Late goal give Houlton boys quarterfinal victory at Dexter

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DEXTER — The first goal of the season for Houlton High School junior Nolan Porter turned out to be the most important of the season for the Shiretowners as he scored the game-winner in his team’s 3-2 Class C North quarterfinal victory over the Dexter Tigers at the Jeffrey S. Parola Memorial Soccer Field on Oct. 27.

With its fourth consecutive victory, Houlton (8-6-1) was scheduled to play No. 1 Fort Kent Community High School (12-1-2) in a semifinal on Oct. 31.

No. 4 Dexter finished its season with a 7-6-2 record.

After a pair of Dexter goals tied the game at 2-2, Houlton was awarded a throw-in at the Dexter end of the field with less than five minutes remaining in regulation. Senior Nick Perfitt heaved the ball in from the right endline toward the Tiger goal as players from both teams converged in front of the goal. The pass went through the crowd and Porter made contact by the left post.

“It was just coming across and I got very lucky,” Porter said. “I was trying to get it with my legs but it hit me in the stomach. The goalie bobbled it and it went in.”

“I kept telling my guys the best defense is a good offense,” Houlton head coach Caleb Byron said as the Shiretowners built a 2-0 lead in the opening half behind a pair of goals from sophomore Keegan Gentle. “I would have felt a little better if we kept it in their end a little longer.”

With 14:18 left to play before the half, Dexter sophomore Bud Sathtachotinun launched a shot from outside the box that landed inside the top of the goal over the reach of a leaping Houlton senior goalkeeper Anthony Henderson to put the Tigers on the scoreboard at 2-1.

With 16 minutes to go in the second half, Sathtachotinun bent a free kick to the left and senior Matthew Richards ran at the goal to head the ball in and tie the game 2-2.

“It was just missed opportunities,” Dexter head coach Andrew Bermudez said.

He said Dexter had opportunities, including a 6-0 corner-kick advantage in the second half, but the team was unable to take the lead after overcoming the multiple-goal deficit.

Henderson finished with six saves for Houlton. Dexter freshman Brett Kusnierz stopped five shots.

Tiger seniors are Andrew Carlow, Vincent Cheng, Matthew Hanscome, Nicholas Hershbine, Johnathan Lane, George Lewis and Matthew Richards.

No. 5 Houlton 3,
No. 4 Dexter 2
HOU 2 1 | 3
DEX 1 1 | 2
First: H — K. Gentle
H — K. Gentle (Howe)
D — Sathtachotinum
Second: D — Richards
H — Porter
Corner kicks: H — 3,
D — 9.
Saves: H — Henderson 6,
D — Kusnierz 5
Records: H — 8-6-1,
D — 7-6-2.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
GETTING IN THE WAY — Houlton senior Patrick Howe tries to deflect a pass kicked near midfield by Dexter junior Christopher Fitzgerald during a Class C North quarterfinal on Oct. 27 in Dexter. Fifth-seeded Houlton defeated fourth seed Dexter 3-2 to advance to a semifinal at top seed Fort Kent.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
PLAYING WITH THE SEASON ON THE LINE — Dexter junior Kobe Pillsbury and Houlton senior Abe Lorum get tangled running for the ball during last week’s Class C North quarterfinal.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
CORNER PLAY — Senior Andrew Carlow of Dexter and Houlton sophomore Jaron Gentle rush to dig a loose ball out of the right corner of the field. The visiting Shiretowners left Dexter with a 3-2 Class C North quarterfinal victory on Oct. 27.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
A GOAL AND AN ASSIST — Dexter sophomore Bud Sathtachotinum, pictured with Houlton senior Zachary Fitzpatrick, would score the first Tiger goal and assist on his team’s second goal.

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