AUBURN — Speed kills, and Mt. Blue High School’s speed crushed Edward Little on Thursday.
The Cougars used their quick legs to beat the Red Eddies to seemingly every loose ball, and they ran away on the scoreboard as a result in a 6-0 victory at Sherwood Heights Elementary School.
Mt. Blue received scoring contributions from six different players to win its sixth straight contest. The Cougars have scored 16 goals in their last three matches.
“They’re just so quick to the ball,” Edward Little coach Greg Perkins said. “I think they got to 85 percent of every ball that was hit before we did.”
The Cougars (8-3) were quick to the ball and relentless when the ball was in the circle. Their penalty corner production was equally as strong as they scored their first three goals off penalty corners.
Taylor Hollingdale got the Cougars on the board with 21:37 remaining in the first half with a rocket shot from the center of the circle that beat Edward Little goalkeeper Danica Nadeau.
Abby Wallace and Leah St. Laurent scored two minutes apart on back-to-back penalty corners. Wallace knocked in a loose ball off the stick of Victoria Newbill that was sitting on the goal line to make it 2-0. Wallace was credited with an assist when Leah St. Laurent made it 3-0.
“We’re playing with intensity and hustling and doing everything we’ve been working on,” Mt. Blue coach Jody Harmon said. “We weren’t flat like we were the other day.”
Newbill put an exclamation mark on the first half, scoring with 5:38 remaining. Newbill showed off her speed by tracking down a loose ball down the right side before firing a shot through the legs of Edward Little’s Savannah Shaw and past Nadeau.
The Cougars recorded 23 shots in the first half and 4o for the game, 30 of which were on goal.
“It is the biggest boost,” Newbill said of scoring quickly. “The only thing with scoring quick like that is you have to remember that the other team is going to drive up too, so you have to maintain that intensity. When you get that many in the first half, the second half has to be just as consistent, just as intense. But it’s such a good boost to your morale, especially in some games where it’s hard to get a lot of shots off.”
In an effort to counteract Mt. Blue’s speed, the Red Eddies (4-6-1) substituted a forward for an extra defender in the second half. It worked for the first part of the second half as the Cougars’ offense was held in check, but Mt. Blue still tacked on two more goals before the final horn.
Hannah LeClair scored with 14:11 remaining on an assist from Jordyn Lawrence and Gracie Foss rounded out the scoring with a marker with 3:48 left.
“It’s one of those situations where when they get in front of the net they do not let up,” Perkins said. “They just do not let up until they score.”
Mt. Blue goalkeeper Whitney Levesque stopped all three shots she faced for her third shutout of the season. Nadeau finished with 24 stops.
“Our defense is so strong,” Newbill said. “Kayleigh Fontaine is fantastic and she’s always chasing every ball. You can tell that our defense doesn’t want the ball to get by them. Even if it does get by them they’re the first ones to get down there and get it back out.”
The Cougars held a 17-7 advantage in penalty corners.