Updated with video

Medomak Valley, Belfast provide late-half offensive fireworks

Panthers earn 2-1 girls soccer win over Lions; Smeltzer, Kunesh, Lovejoy score goals
By Ken Waltz | Oct 13, 2016
Photo by: Ken Waltz Medomak Valley's Maddie White, and Belfast's Elizabeth Taylor battle for control of the ball in front of teammates during an Oct. 13 high school girls soccer game in Waldoboro. The host Panthers beat the Lions 2-1.

Waldoboro — For about 77 of Thursday afternoon's 80-minute pitch battle, Medomak Valley and Belfast stood toe-to-toe in a competitive, defense-dominated, late-season high school girls soccer game, but during a 2:30 span at the end of the first half, the Panthers and Lions exchanged offensive fireworks.

Three goals in less than a three-minute span to close the first 40 minutes were the only scores by the teams, which directly led to a 2-1 victory for the home-standing Panthers on Oct. 13.

Cassie Smeltzer and Hallie Kunesh scored for Medomak Valley and Olivia Lovejoy creased the net for Belfast. Interestingly, two of the goals were on set plays — direct and corner kicks.

Click for photos from this game.

Watch video below.

Medomak Valley continues to make a push to qualify for the playoffs and probably must win its final regular-season game at Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield on Tuesday, Oct. 18 to solidify a spot. If the Panthers lose that finale, the prospects of postseason play become more muddied.

In the Maine Principals' Association Heal Point Standings for Class B North, Medomak Valley (5-8, 27.6020 points) is 15th and Belfast (0-13, no points) tied for 19th. Waterville (14-0, 143.2143 points) is first in the 19-team region. The top 13 teams qualify for the playoffs.

At this point, Mount Desert Island (5-8, 29.2857 points) is 13th, the final playoff spot, as the Trojans hold a slim margin No. 14 Foxcroft Academy of Dover-Foxcroft (4-8, 27.6531) over Medomak Valley.

Nonetheless, the five-victory Panthers and winless Lions battled hard through Thursday's game played under gray, threatening skies.

Chelsea Ripley and Shera Hilt played in goal for the Panthers and Lions, respectively. Both made several strong saves, as Hilt had the tougher shots to face. Both teams had similar shots and corner kick totals.

Smeltzer gave the Panthers a 1-0 advantge with 2:36 left in the first half with a rocket shot past Hilt. But no sooner had the hosts' celebration ended then Lovejoy knotted the game 1-1 with a sweet corner kick that sailed directly into the net. The kick came from Ripley's right and sailed over her outstretched hand and curled into the far corner.

That goal celebration also was short-lived as Kunesh tallied the game-winner on a direct kick from about 35 yards straight out on a ball that sailed over Hilt and into the net. There was 14.4 seconds remaining in the half.

The teams continued to have scoring chances in the second half, with a few more opportunities by the hosts. However, Belfast had a golden chance to notch the equalizer in the final minutes, but Panther Gabby DePatsy made a key player-save on a shot away from screened Ripley in heavy goalmouth traffic.

Medomak Valley also handed the then home-standing Lions a 2-1 loss on Sept. 8.

Belfast at Medomak Valley girls soccer
Medomak Valley hosts Belfast on Oct. 13 in high school girls soccer in Waldoboro. (Courtesy of: Zack Miller of VStv)
Medomak Valley keeper Chelsea Ripley, in orange, tries to tip the ball away, but the corner kick from Belfast's Olivia Lovejoy, not pictured, sails into the net for a goal. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
From left, Belfast's Amber Beaulieu, Alison Defeo, Alicia Berube, Angela Rogers, Olivia Lovejoy and Rayhana Luther celebrate Lovejoy's goal. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Medomak Valley's Cassie Smeltzer, left, and Jane Vannoy. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Medomak Valley's Hattie Watmough, middle, and Hallie Kunesh, back, along with Belfast's Grace Fitzjurls. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Medomak Valley's Hallie Kunesh sets up for a direct kick — and subsequent goal. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Medomak Valley's Hallie Kunesh makes a direct kick that results in a goal. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Medomak Valley's Hallie Kunesh, right, and Gabby DePatsy celebrate Kunesh's goal. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Medomak Valley's Hallie Kunesh, middle, jumps into the arms of goalie Chelsea Ripley, while teammates Gabby DePatsy, left, and Hannah Prock look on. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Belfast's Faith Beaulieu, right, and Alicia Berube, as well as Medomak Valley's Cassie Smeltzer, left, and Abby Nelson. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Medomak Valley's Hattie Watmough (21) and Talia Willis, back, as well as Belfast's Grace Fitzjurls (32) and Rayhana Luther. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Belfast's Olivia Lovejoy. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Belfast's Amber Beaulieu, left, and Medomak Valley's Kayla Donlin. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Belfast's Olivia Lovejoy, left, and Medomak Valley's Addie Jameson. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Medomak Valley's Jane Vannoy, left, and Belfast's Junne Robertson-McIntire. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Belfast's Shera Hilt. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Medomak Valley's Chelsea Ripley. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Belfast's Lailia Al-Matrouk. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Belfast's Faith Beaulieu. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Medomak Valley's Jane Vannoy. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Comments (2)
Posted by: Ken Waltz | Oct 17, 2016 18:46

Editor's note: Shera Hilt was the Belfast goalie in this game. The voice over for this video incorrectly states it was another Lion player.

Posted by: Lori Moores | Oct 17, 2016 13:17

Video posted keeper as Sydni Moores. It was Shera Hilt that was goalie in this game.


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Ken Waltz
Sports Director
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Ken Waltz has been member of the media nearly 35 years and has received hundreds of Maine Press Association and New England Press Association awards for his writing, photography and page design. He studied journalism at the University of Maine in Orono. He lives in South Thomaston with his wife, Sarah. The couple has an adult son, Brandon, who lives in North Carolina.

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