WALDOBORO — Try as they might, the Panther soccer teams could not get over the hump for early-season pitch victories so the Medomak Valley High School squads figured there was no better time to flip the script on Saturday, Sept. 17 then in their homecoming games against county-rival Lincoln Academy of Newcastle.

The Panthers did that, partially, against the Lincoln County-neighboring Eagles as the host girls built a 3-0 lead and hung on for a 3-2 victory in the morning contest, while the host boys grabbed a 1-0 cushion in the first half, but could not cement the win in a 2-1 loss to LA in the afternoon affair.

Medomak Valley’s Slavik Moody, front. Photo by Ken Waltz

A handful of games into the 2022 fall high school pitch campaign, the young Panthers continue to learn, grow and improve, as the MVHS girls are 1-4 and boys 0-5.

Saturday’s homecoming games, as they always are when these athletic rivals meet, were competitive and not decided until the final horns sounded.

Medomak Valley’s Kytana Williamson. Photo by Ken Waltz

The girls game appeared early as if it would be an easy victory for the hosts, but the Eagles flew back with two second-half goals and knocked on the door for a contest-tying third with late heavy pressure, including several dangerous corner kicks in the waning seconds.

For the Panthers, Kytana Williamson, Rachel Richardson and Scarlett Flint tallied goals and Flint and Haylee Chandler assists. Addison McCormick (8 saves) played in goal for the hosts.

Medomak Valley’s Liam Belyea-Ridge. Photo by Ken Waltz

For LA, Catarina Johnson tallied two goals and Marley Lebel added an assist. Jillian Chadwick (13 saves) played in net for the visitors.

Medomak Valley finished with a 16-10 edge in shots and 7-6 advantage in corner kicks.

Brooks Snell, 6, of Waldoboro, who uses his cotton candy holder for a horn in his hat, throws a football during the soccer games. Photo by Ken Waltz

The Panthers scored goals at 9:20 and 4:35 of the first half and 38:30 of the second for a 3-0 edge. The Eagles battled back with scores at 24:23 (penalty kick) and 19:02 of the second half to make the contest exciting to the end.

The boys game also proved competitive to the end as Medomak Valley scored midway through the first half and LA tallied the equalizer late in the opening time frame. A goal by the visitors midway through the second half sealed the deal for the Eagles.

With 20 minutes left in the opening half, Luke Cheesman, assisted by Slavik Moody, scored. Moody beat the right fullback and rounded the corner on the endline and crossed the ball back through the middle to Cheesman, who hit it and beat the keeper to his left.

LA netted the next two goals as Nick Archer scored with 41 seconds left in the first half and Casey Duncan with 24:24 remaining in the second half that came as a result of a penalty kick. Panther goalie Eli Pluecker made the initial save on the PK before Duncan rushed in and scored from the six-yard line.

The Eagles led 8-7 in shots, while Pluecker and LA keeper Cody Cleaveland made six saves.