Lewiston High School’s Amelie Sperandino, left, and Edward Little’s Madison Thistlewaite battle for the ball during their match at Edward Little in Auburn on Tuesday.
AUBURN — The biggest difference between Edward Little and Lewiston in the rivals’ first girls’ soccer meeting of the season on Tuesday was finishing.
Both teams had scoring chances, but only the Red Eddies converted.
EL scored twice in each half, and senior goalie Taylor Depot pitched a shutout in goal as the hosts won 4-0 in a KVAC Class A North clash.
“(Taylor) talked to me about it this morning, she says ‘Coach, I’m ready to play. I’m excited,'” EL coach Craig Latuscha said. “My seniors this year that have been with me for three or four years were excited about this game.”
One of those four-year varsity seniors, Piper Norcross, put the Red Eddies (2-1-1) on the board 23 minutes in, heading a corner kick from Caroline Hammond past Lewiston goalie Gemma Landry.
“Caroline Hammond has been working at her beautiful corner kicks, so it was nice to be able to put one in the net for her because she’s been trying so hard to get us one,” Norcross said. “I said ‘I’m going to score this for her.'”
Norcross added another goal with just 46 seconds left before halftime. Again Norcross scored without using one of her feet. She deflected a cross from Grace Fontaine and the ball made its way past Landry.
“(Grace) always has perfectly set crosses, always in the same place, so I kind of knew to go to that spot and just get a piece of my body on it. Because she kicks it hard enough that if it hits me I know it’s going to go hard enough in,” Norcross said. “It made us a little bit more comfortable, but not too much. We obviously still had to play hard, but it was a nice, little ending to the half.”
The Red Eddies created more breathing room 67 seconds into the second half. Lauren Berube sent a cross from the right side and Hannah Chaput converted.
“That was huge,” Latuscha said. “You get that third goal — if they get one and we don’t that one, it makes it really big, we’re on our heels.”
The Blue Devils (0-3) soon began to fight back, but couldn’t put anything past Depot. Taylor Chamberlain was stopped from the top-right corner of the box eight minutes in, and Depot made high saves on Megan St. Cyr and Chamberlain 30 seconds apart seven minutes later.
“Just having a hard time finishing. It’s about finishing right now,” Lewiston coach Brant Remington said. “They’re working hard. Got to give them credit for that. They’re just a couple steps away.”
Grace Beaudet capped off the scoring midway through the second half by lacing a shot from the left-corner of the box into the right side of the goal.
That signalled the of the day for Landry (eight saves), who was scheduled to come out of the game even before Beaudet’s goal.
“She was great,” Remington said. “She got run over early in the game … she kind of got banged up a little bit, but she’s really tough.
“I told her it could have been six or seven (goals against). She was phenomenal, and she’s been playing really well.”
Depot made her toughest save of the game with 10 minutes to go, denying Chamberlain point-blank to keep the shutout intact. She finished with 10 saves.
Edward Little players Piper Norcross (22) and Lydia Celani, right, battle Lewiston High School’s Amelie Sperandio (23) and Lexi Poulin (4) for the ball during their match at Edward Little in Auburn on Tuesday.Lewiston High School keeper Gemma Landry makes a diving stop in the first half during a match at Edward Little in Auburn on Tuesday.Lewiston High School’s Amelie Sperandino, left, and Edward Little’s Madison Thistlewaite battle for the ball during their match at Edward Little in Auburn on Tuesday.Lewiston High School’s Lexi Poulin, left, boots the ball in front of Edward Little’s Piper Norcross during their match at Edward Little in Auburn on Tuesday.Edward Little High School’s Grace Beaudet, right, slips past Lewiston High School’s Kelsie Lynch during their match at Edward Little in Auburn on Tuesday.