Boys' soccer: Edward Little ties Bangor to begin season-ending gauntlet

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Bangor’s Roland Mattsen and Edward Little’s Badr Abdraba struggle for control of the ball during Thursday afternoon’s soccer game in Lewiston. Edward Little’s Xajay Brooks follows the action from the left. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)

LEWISTON — The schedule makers didn’t make the end of the regular season easy for the Edward Little boys’ soccer team, which has been tasked with facing the top three teams in Class A North, from No. 3 to No. 1, to close out the regular-season slate.

The Red Eddies started that gauntlet Thursday with a home game against Bangor that was moved to the artificial turf of Lewiston’s Joseph Deschenes Field because of the rain. Edward Little got off to a great start, scoring in the second minute before having to hold its breath in the final minute of double overtime to come away with a 1-1 tie.

“I mean, we think we can win every time play,” EL coach Tim Mains said. “You know, I wouldn’t say we’re pleased with a tie. We’re content with it, and not disappointed by it because they are worth a lot of points and being the lower seed coming in — or so to speak — that’s a good result for us.”

The game nearly netted no points for the Red Eddies (6-5-1), if not for an offsides call on what looked like a game-winning goal for the Rams (8-1-3) with 15 seconds left in the second overtime. The Rams celebrated around Conor O’Brien, but the elation went away when they realized the offsides call.

“I actually heard the whistle before it went in the net,” Mains said, “so I knew what was going on because he looked offsides from here — not that I have the greatest angle — but I saw (the official) blow his whistle before the ball went into the back of the net and raise his hand, so I knew it was offsides.”

Mains said it’s never comfortable to see the ball go into his team’s goal. When it went into Bangor’s goal just 1:43 into the contest, the Red Eddies found some comfort.

Jake Jackson’s flip throw-in found the head of a towering Wol Maiwen, who re-directed the ball into the Bangor goal.

“I mean, that’s how we play, that’s how we score. We kind of pack it in a little bit and take advantage of opportunities that we have off throw-ins and corners. That’s what we’ve done all season long,” Mains said. “It was good to get it right off the bat because we were able to kind of relax a little bit, and maybe even relax a little bit too much at times, but it was a great way to start the game for sure.”

The Rams eventually snapped out of the shock of giving up an early goal, and even held the edge in shots on goal (4-3) by halftime, even if they still trailed 1-0 on the scoreboard.

“We actually felt OK. We felt, you know, we gave up an early goal, little slack defensively, but we thought we kind of turned it around,” Bangor coach Garth Berenyi said. “We were playing the game the way that we should, and we thought we were going to equalize it, and we thought we’d have a good second half.”

It only took until the 10th minute of the second half for Bangor to tie the game. Alec Jansujwicz fed Jacob Munroe, whose shot from outside the box flew past EL goalie Mack Sampson (13 saves).

“It was good to start off, get that under our belt, and then have enough time to try and get the go-ahead goal,” Berenyi said.

The Rams did everything they could to get that second goal, but Sampson turned away seven other shots in the second half, then two more in succession off a Bangor corner kick in the second overtime.

“Mack played his best game in a long, long time. Maybe the best game of the season,” Mains said. “He kept us in it on countless occasions, made some big saves for us down the stretch. You know, hopefully we can have that from him moving forward.”

Bangor goalie Austin Conway didn’t need to make nearly as many saves (five for the whole game), but he made the save of the game with four minutes left in regulation, making a goal-line stop of a Josh Lavigne header off Oliver Hall’s direct kick.

“That was a great save Austin made,” Berenyi said.

The Red Eddies couldn’t put a shot on goal in either overtime, but Jackson sent a put-back of a clear attempt on one of his flip throws just wide in the first extra period.

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Bangor’s Lasse Keim faces Edward Little’s Cam Sturgis and Noah Peck as he attempts a goal during Thursday afternoon’s soccer game in Lewiston. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)Bangor’s Will Hadden kicks ball just as Edward Little’s Wol Maiwen charges in during Thursday afternoon’s soccer game in Lewiston. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)Bangor’s Damian Sheffer and Edward Little’s Oliver Hall struggle for control of the ball during Thursday afternoon’s soccer game in Lewiston. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)Edward Little’s Xavier Miranda takes the fall down a very soggy field during Thursday afternoon’s soccer game in Lewiston. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)Bangor’s Kevin Fish and Edward Little’s Hassan Jibril face off at the ball during Thursday afternoon’s soccer game in Lewiston. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)Edward Little’s Jake Jackson and Bangor’s Conor O’Brien race to gain control of the ball during Thursday afternoon’s soccer game in Lewiston. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)Edward Little’s Oliver Hall stays ahead of Bangor’s Aiden Cormier during Thursday afternoon’s soccer game in Lewiston. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)Bangor’s Aiden Cormier and Edward Little’s Xajay Brooks struggle for control of the ball during Thursday afternoon’s soccer game in Lewiston. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)Bangor’s Will Hadden gets a little handsy with Edward Little’s Christian Beliveau during Thursday afternoon’s soccer game in Lewiston. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)Bangor’s Jacob Munroe keeps the ball moving down the field even as Edward Little’s Cam Sturgis gets a foot in during Thursday afternoon’s rainy soccer game in Lewiston. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)Edward Little’s Kegan Rodrigue and Bangor’s Hunter Neale keep their eye on the ball during Thursday afternoon’s soccer game in Lewiston. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)

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