Lydia Celani, left, of Edward Little and Rachel Ouellette of Lewiston compete for the ball during the first half in Auburn on Tuesday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)
AUBURN — Despite a combined 21 shots on goal, Tuesday’s Battle of the Bridge girls’ soccer rivalry game between Lewiston and Edward Little went through regulation and two five-minute overtime periods without the ball finding the back of the net.
The two players tasked with defending the respective goals were a big reason why the Blue Devils and Red Eddies played to a 0-0 tie.
EL’s Allie Annear made 14 saves, including seven early in the first half and two in the first overtime, to earn a shutout in her first start against Lewiston. Gemma Landry stopped all seven shots she faced for the Blue Devils.
“She single-handedly kept us in the game,” Red Eddies (0-2-2) coach Miles Bisher said of Annear. “I mean, there’s no other way to say it. She was the reason why we even got to overtime.”
Landry made the first save of the game, stopping EL’s Grace Fontaine two minutes in. Annear then made the next seven, as the Blue Devils (0-3-1) sent a flurry of shots at the sophomore.
“I thought we definitely made her look really good because we played a lot of balls right at her,” Lewiston coach Brant Remington said. “I don’t think we made enough quality shots that really tested her that well.”
The first half ended with the Blue Devils holding onto that 7-1 advantage in shots on goal. At the start of the second half, the Red Eddies had possibly their best chance of the game.
Ella Boucher was knocked down in the box 1:28 in, earning a penalty kick for EL. Fontaine took the kick, which went over the crossbar. It was eerily similar to one the EL boys missed the day before aiming at the same goal.
“It’s almost like a repeat of the boys’ game. … It’s kind of strange that that happened,” Remington said. “I had confidence that Gemma was going to save it if it was on goal. It was nice to have it go over so we didn’t have to worry.”
Bisher, coaching his first game against Lewiston, didn’t want to dwell on the missed chance.
“We had plenty of chances after that that we didn’t capitalize on. It’s a whole game, not one event,” Bisher said. “I know it’s easy to look at the PK and say ‘What if?’ But, team game, long game, and there’s a lot of other stuff that was a factor in the game today.”
The Red Eddies seemed to grab momentum from their own miss, and started to tilt the shots on goal back toward even. But Landry kept the score even, making a jump save on Boucher 15 minutes into the second, and making a falling save in traffic on a corner kick seven minutes later.
“Gemma’s great,” Bisher said. “Any other goalie, we probably score today.”
Annear took her turn again making tough saves late in regulation, making a sprawling save with seven minutes left, then making consecutive saves from different sides on Sara Robert and Leah Landry with one minute left.
The last of her 14 saves came on a punch of a long, but solid, Kelsie Lynch shot in the first overtime.
“A goalkeeper can make all the difference in the game,” Bisher said. “So Gemma’s equally as valuable to their team as Allie was for us today.”
Grace Fontaine, left, of Edward Little looks to move the ball up the field while being defended by Sara Robert of Lewiston during the first half in Auburn on Tuesday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)
Natalie Garcia, left, of Edward Little and Sara Robert of Lewiston compete for the ball during the first half in Auburn on Tuesday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)
Julia Berube of Edward Little moves the ball against Megan St. Cyr of Lewiston during the first half in Auburn on Tuesday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)
Caroline Hammond, left, and Ella Boucher of Edward Little High School walk back to their bench at the end of the first half in Auburn on Tuesday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)