When the number one team faces the number eight squad in the playoff quarterfinals of any sport, it is typically viewed as a sure victory for the top seed in the region. A warm-up game for the tougher competition to be seen later during the postseason. Even a chance for the No. 1 team to work on different plays or even try different strategies.

However, eighth-seeded Waterville was no slouch during Wednesday’s contest as top-ranked Mount View hosted a Eastern Class B quarterfinal playoff in Thorndike in a game with both squads’ collective seasons on the line.

And late in the contest, the ‘Stangs dug deep and pulled out just what they needed to move on.

Senior Brianna Moody notched a pair of goals late in the second half and assisted on another as Mount View (13-1-1 overall) eliminated Waterville (6-8) from the postseason with a 3-1 victory.

Mercedes Reynolds also added a goal for the ‘Stangs, while Delainey Kein and Cheyenne Dyer both contributed assists. Waterville’s lone score came off the stick of Alexis Russo.

Abbie Charrier played in goal in the first half for the ‘Stangs, while Amanda Hall was in the cage in the second half. Neither goalie logged a save in the win. Waterville goalie Sadie Dixon turned away nine shots. Mount View outshot Waterville 9-1 and held a 6-2 advantage in penalty corners.

The top-seeded Mustangs will move on to the semifinal round Saturday, Oct. 23 at 1 p.m. where they will host No. 5 Gardiner (10-3-1, after a 4-0 win over No. 4 Winslow, 10-4) for the right to advance to the Eastern Class B championship game on Tuesday, Oct. 26 at Hampden Academy.

Mount View defeated Winslow 2-1 in its first game of the season Sept. 4 and also bested Gardiner 1-0 Sept. 23. The Mustangs beat Waterville 1-0 during a regular-season game.

The cost of admission to Saturday’s semifinal playoff game is $5 for adults and $3 for children, said Mount View athletic director Chuck Karter.

After a scoreless first half in Wednesday’s quarterfinal game, Mount View finally got on the board with 21:57 remaining in the game off a penalty corner. Moody inserted the ball to Reynolds to the right of the goal and fired a shot across the field through the Purple Panther defense and into the cage for the game’s first score.

Mount View did not have much time to celebrate, however, as Waterville responded minutes later at the 15:04-mark when Russo popped in an unassisted goal past Hall.

With the game knotted 1-1, Mustang coach Gloria Hewett promptly called a timeout.

“I said, ‘We need to get out and start hustling after the ball because they’re outhustling us,'” said Hewett. “I told them we needed to get a goal and we needed to start hustling.”

The pep talk seemed to work as minutes later Delainey Kein popped the ball across the goalmouth area past the Waterville keeper, who came out to pursue the ball.

The ball ended up on the stick of Moody, who beat the diving Purple Panther goalie with 11:27 remaining to again give Mount View a one-goal cushion.

Moody scored again on a similar play with 2:24 remaining — this time on an assist from Dyer — to seal the deal for the ‘Stangs.

“We’ve been working a lot on playing the ball inside the circle to do just that,” Hewett said. “To avoid the goalie and go to the space. We’ve been focusing on that a lot over the past few days.”

The Purple Panthers played the Mustangs well earlier in the season, falling by a 1-0 score on their home turf Sept. 28. And win or lose, coach Amie Wilcox was pleased with what she saw from her team.

“I thought overall we played very good,” she said. “I don’t think either team really dominated more than the other and I think in the last [5-10 minutes], we kind of struggled and just ran around and let our emotions get the best of us. But I’m impressed with the way they played. Mount View played very well, but I couldn’t be more proud of our girls. We’re a young team.”

The Mustangs have outscored opponents 38-6 in 15 games this season and had recorded 11 shutouts prior to Wednesday’s quarterfinal victory. Ironically, three goals against Mount View came in one game and only three in the other 14 contests.

Village NetMedia Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at mhaskell@villagesoup.com.