Tigers get past Central in C North semifinal for spot in regional championship

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DEXTER — When the high school girls soccer teams from Dexter and Central met in the regular season, each game featured a combined nine goals.

The Class C North semifinal had only three goals but two of the youngest players on the roster accounted for Dexter’s pair of biggest plays in the Tigers’ 2-1 victory at the Jeffrey S. Parola Memorial Soccer Field on Oct. 27.

With the victory, No. 2 Dexter (12-4) advances to the Class C North championship on Wednesday, Nov. 1 The Tigers are scheduled to play at 4 p.m. at No. 1 Houlton (14-1).

Central ends the season at 11-4-1.

Dexter freshman Avery Herrick gave her team a 1-0 lead on a penalty kick with 4:13 to go in the opening half and at the 12:42 mark of the second half Central junior Madison Speed converted the equalizer on a free kick from the left she put into the Tiger goal.

The tie would be brief as less than two minutes later, Dexter freshman Peyton Grant scored what would turn out to be the game-winner with exactly 11 minutes remaining on the clock. With the ball rolling loose just outside the box, Grant got to it before any defenders and her shot landed on the inside of the left post.

“I just ran as hard as I could so I could put it on,” said Grant, daughter of Dexter head coach Jody Grant. “I didn’t know if it would go in but it hit the side and went in.”

Central would have several more scoring opportunities late in the game, but Dexter junior Addyson Herrick came up with a save on each occasion. She finished with a game-high 10 saves, while Central junior Rachael Smith nearly equaled the effort with nine stopped shots.

“We wanted to have more of a defensive mentality here this afternoon just to get a decent start,” coach Jody Grant said.

Central scored early several times in the two teams last meeting, a 7-2 Central victory at Dexter on Oct. 7. Dexter beat Central 6-3 in Corinth on Sept. 20.

“I told them to contain and be solid,” Grant said.

“I’m so happy for these kids, this is a new experience for them,” he said about the berth in the regional final.

Grant said the two freshman goal scorers “have been integral parts of our team, and they were just on the spot when they put the ball in the net.”

No. 2 Dexter 2,
No. 3 Central 1
CEN 0 1 | 1
DEX 1 1 | 2
First: D — Av. Herrick
Second: C — Speed
D — Grant
Corner kicks: C — 12,
D — 5
Saves: C — Smith 9,
D — Ad. Herrick 10
Records: C — 11-4-1
D — 12-4.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
ON TO HOULTON — Dexter junior Danielle Cummings makes a move to get around Central sophomore Alison Shaw during a Class C North semifinal Oct. 27 in Dexter. The host Tigers won the matchup of second and third seeds 2-1 to advance to Wednesday’s regional final against at No. 1 Houlton High School.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
SEMIFINAL PLAY — Dexter junior Shannon O’Roak and Central sophomore Maddigan Demoranville both look to get a foot on the ball during the Class C North semifinal on Oct. 27 in Dexter.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
PUTTING HER TEAM ON THE SCOREBOARD — Freshman Avery Herrick, pictured with Central junior Faith Fogel, converted a penalty kick in the first half for the game’s first goal. Dexter freshman Peyton Grant would score the 2-1 game-winner with 11 minutes to go in the second half.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
AIR BALL — Dexter senior Lily Cummings and Central senior Sydney Allen look to gain control of the ball.The 2-1 victory over the Red Devils advanced the Tigers to the Class C North Championship at No. 1 Houlton on Wednesday afternoon.

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