High school boys soccer

Champions: Mustangs saddle up for first regional crown since 1980

Despite playing in heavy rain, Mount View tops GSA 3-1 in Class C North final
By Mark Haskell and Ken Waltz | Nov 06, 2019
Photo by: Mark Haskell Mount View's Atlas Hubbard heads the ball Nov. 5 in high school boys soccer in Hampden. The Mustangs beat George Stevens Academy 3-1.

Hampden — Not even torrential rain could keep the Mustang boys soccer team from doing something the Mustangs have dreamed about for nearly 40 years — namely, kick its way to a coveted regional championship.

Not since 1980 has a Mount View boys pitch squad won a regional crown, but on Tuesday, Nov. 5 on the rain-soaked artificial turf at Hampden Academy, the Thorndike-based group was back atop a region.

That is because the No. 3 Mustangs (15-2) outlasted No. 4 George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill (11-3-3) 3-1 in horrible conditions under the lights to win the Class C North regional high school championship.

Watch video and see more photos below.

The Mustangs dropped to Class C this fall after spending years in Class B. In fact, Mount View's previous — and only other — regional crown in boys soccer came in 1980 in Class B.

Nearly 40 years ago, Mount View won the Class B South crown and then lost to Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield 2-1 in the state final.

“It feels pretty incredible,” said Mount View coach Jeremy Von Oesen of his team winning the regional crown. “I think I was four [years old] when that happened, but it’s been a long time coming. When I was just out of high school our girls team won the state championship [in 1996] and my sister was on that team, so it’s been a long time coming getting back here with soccer.”

“It feels great,” said Mustang senior forward Elijah Allen, who scored two of the team's three goals on Tuesday. “Best feeling I’ve had so far playing soccer.”

With Tuesday's win, Mount View earned the right to play for the state Class C championship on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 3 p.m. at Falmouth High School.

The Mustangs will face Waynflete of Portland (15-2) — also the third seed in Class C South — for the crown. The Flyers, who are the defending state Class C champs, defeated No. 4 Maranacook of Readfield (13-3-1) 2-0 in the other regional final on Tuesday evening.

No. 3 Waynflete beat No. 6 Lisbon of Lisbon Falls 8-1 in the quarterfinals and No. 7 Traip Academy of Kittery 2-0 in the semifinals.

Mount View defeated No. 6 Central of Corinth 5-2 in the quarterfinals and No. 7 Fort Kent 2-0 in the semifinals. The latter of those two games, like Tuesday's regional final, was played at Hampden Academy.

The Mustangs did not play Fort Kent, Central or GSA during the regular season due to their mostly Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B schedule, but did, in fact, face Maranacook and beat the Black Bears 5-2 on Oct. 5 in Thorndike.

Team members for the newly-crowned regional champions include Brennan Grant, Anthony Lepore, Hayden Porter, Atlas Hubbard, Noah Jacobs, Draedyn Furrow, Aiden Hubbard, Levi Winslow, Elijah Allen, Dylan Gallager, Max Eastham, Kevin Kinney, Cole Ripley, Zachary Suitor, Cameron Rae, Connor Aitken, Gunnar Martin, Isaac Widmer, Sean Raven, Tyler Russell, Declan Knowlton, Joe Grassi, Logan Strout, Ruben Schofield, Nicholas Cobb, Nicholas Finley, Jake Hamel, Jaden Von Oesen, Ricky Nelson and Ryan Oliver. The head coach is Von Oesen and assistant coach Art Farris.

In Tuesday's rain-soaked regional title tilt, Allen, who led the team in scoring this season, pumped in two goals to lead the 'Stangs, while Grant added the game's first score off assists from Allen and Atlas Hubbard.

David Gadsby scored the lone goal for George Stevens Academy.

Nelson turned in several sensational saves in net for Mount View as the junior keeper made 11 saves on 17 GSA shots. Parker Allen turned away two of eight shots in net for the Eagles.

The weather certainly played a role in Tuesday's game. Both teams were prepared, but the task proved arduous, in particular for the goalies.

Early in the game, Nelson’s netminding strategy was business as usual. But after seeing a few balls slip through his hands — one of which bounded across the endline for a GSA corner kick — he scrapped that plan in favor of punching or slapping the ball away from the goal by any means necessary.

Nelson put it in perspective after the game: "Put soap on your gloves and try catching."

“Your first idea had to be get the ball away. In pouring rain on a 50-mile-per-hour shot, you’re not going to catch it with 100 percent accuracy," he said. "You do not know when you’re in front of the goal. So unless you can get your body behind it, it’s out. And then once it’s out, you deal with the next problem. As a goalie, you can’t worry about what’s happening two or three steps ahead. You’ve got to worry about what’s happening now. If you’re trying to get the ball, and manage the field, and catch it, you’re not going to get it. You’re going to be doing too many things, you’re going to overload and you’re going to make a mistake. It’s got to be one thing at a time in these rainy situations.”

Von Oesen said one of GSA’s primary plans of attack was somewhat neutralized with the weather as Austin Snow, GSA’s go-to player on throw-ins, has a flip throw in his arsenal “and he can throw it in the goal.”

“He was a handful the other night when we watched them play versus Sumner,” he said. “And with the rain, it took that element away from them. It was nice to not have to deal with it.”

The game was back-and-forth through the first before Mount View caused a turnover in the midfield and went on the counterattack.

With a one-man attack, spearheaded by Elijah Allen, the senior forward touched it ahead to Hubbard, which gave the ‘Stangs a two-on-one convoy as Hubbard and Grant sprinted toward keeper Parker Allen.

Parker Allen pursued Hubbard — who touched the ball to Grant streaking down the left side — and tracked it down near the endline and touched it in with 31:53 gone by in the first half.

GSA got the equalizer with 21:50 to play in the first half when Gadsby, after demonstrating some fancy footwork on the far side of the field, created enough space to see a small window, which he booted the ball through from long distance and past the outstretched hands of Nelson to knot the score.

After that, Von Oesen said "we talked about just being more specific on our marking." And, after halftime, he had Grassi mark GSA midfielder Andrew Zefayna, “who had been eating us up a little bit,” man-to-man, “which settled things down a little bit for us too.”

The ‘Stangs took the lead again — this time for good — with 14:49 left in the first half after Elijah Allen, who had the ball down near the far corner, booted a ball from close to the endline that bent in and past the GSA keeper as Mount View took a 2-1 lead.

“I was just aiming for back post for our man [crashing the net],” said Elijah Allen. “Luckily it just kind of bounced in that way. It’s good to have some luck sometimes.”

Then, with 29:23 left in the game, Elijah Allen, with a tremendous individual effort in the goalmouth, weaved his way through four defenders and tacked on a pivotal Mustang insurance goal.

“That’s what he does,” said Von Oesen of Elijah Allen. "He’s relentless, he doesn’t quit and he’ll fight, get through and finish.”

Now the Mustangs will prepare for Saturday's state final. With one team going for their first state boys soccer title in school history and the other for back-to-back crowns.

Von Oesen said, "We've been looking up stuff and doing some film study on Waynflete" and thinks Saturday "should be an incredible match."

"It's going to be a tight one no matter what, and should be fun to watch," he said.

Courier Publications' sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com or by phone at 594-4401.

Mount View versus George Stevens Academy boys soccer
Mount View versus George Stevens Academy on Nov. 5 in high school boys soccer in Hampden. (Video by: Mark Haskell and Zack Miller)
The Mount View boys soccer team with their championship plaque. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Scene from Mount View versus George Stevens Academy boys soccer on Nov. 5 in Hampden. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
From left, Mount View's Aiden Hubbard, Ricky Nelson, Joe Grassi and Brennan Grant, as well as George Stevens Academy's Ben Hallett, middle, and Michael Moon. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Mount View's Elijah Allen. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Mount View's Elijah Allen, front, and George Stevens Academy's Michael Moon. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Mount View's Elijah Allen, front, and George Stevens Academy's Michael Moon. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Mount View's Atlas Hubbard, left, and Elijah Allen, right, as well as George Stevens Academy's Owen Vinall. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Mount View's Tyler Russell, middle, and George Stevens Academy's Austin Snow, left, and Aidan Stearns. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Mount View's Sean Raven. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Scene from Mount View versus George Stevens Academy boys soccer on Nov. 5 in Hampden. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Mount View's Gunnar Martin, right, and George Stevens Academy's Nathan Mason IV. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Mount View's Sean Raven, middle, and Aiden Hubbard, right, as well as George Stevens Academy's Lars Hooper. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Mount View's Joe Grassi, left, Aiden Hubbard, middle, and Elijah Allen, among others. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
From left, Mount View's Noah Jacobs, Joe Grassi, Aiden Hubbard and Elijah Allen, among others. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Mount View's Draedyn Furrow, left, and George Stevens Academy's Grayson Eaton. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Mount View's Draedyn Furrow, front, and George Stevens Academy's Grayson Eaton. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Mount View's Draedyn Furrow, left, and George Stevens Academy's Grayson Eaton. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Mount View's Draedyn Furrow, left, and George Stevens Academy's Grayson Eaton. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Mount View's Elijah Allen, left, and George Stevens Academy's Arden Weaver. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Mount View's Kevin Kinney. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Mount View's Atlas Hubbard, front, and George Stevens Academy's Grayson Eaton. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Mount View's Atlas Hubbard, front, and George Stevens Academy's Grayson Eaton. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Mount View's Ruben Schofield. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Mount View's Atlas Hubbard. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
The Mount View boys soccer team. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
The Mount View boys soccer team. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
The Mount View boys soccer team. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
The Mount View boys soccer team. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Mount View's Noah Jacobs. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Mount View's Ricky Nelson. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Mount View's Ricky Nelson. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
The Mount View boys soccer team. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
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