LEWISTON — At this time of year, Butch Dow can't help but wish for a longer soccer season.
With his Lewiston girls' soccer team hosting their final home game Thursday night, the Blue Devils took one step closer to the end of the season but also took another step forward in their progress.
"Every year I wish the season would last longer because they actually start getting it the last couple of weeks," said Dow.
His Blue Devils ended Oxford Hills season with a 3-0 victory. It was the most goals Lewiston has scored in a game all season. The Blue Devils entered the game having scored just 10 goals.
"We've had a hard time with it all year," said senior Mariah Carrier. "Having our senior night, it's the last night for the five of us here. So we really pushed ourselves hard."
Carrier had a pair of goals for Lewiston (3-8-2) while Maegan Mathon also scored. The Blue Devils are ranked 12th and need some points in the regular-season finale at Brunswick on Tuesday to give them a chance at a playoff berth in Eastern A.
"I think a tie or a win against Brunswick gets us in," said Dow, whose team lost to the Dragons 3-2 earlier in the year.
The Vikings ended the regular season 3-9-2 and went 0-5-1 down the stretch.
It was an even first half until a crucial save happened on one end and the first goal came at the other in a span of a few seconds. With eight minutes left, Viking Lauren Emery had a rising shot in front that Lewiston keeper Lex Jimenez saved. The play quickly went the other way. Kristina Blais subsequently crossed the ball from the right corner. Mathon was in front to redirect it home with 7:51 left in the half.
"That was huge for us," said Carrier. "We have a hard time scoring. So when we get one, it definitely pumps up everyone from the back all the way up."
Oxford Hills Mikayla Morin had a bid in the closing seconds of the first half, but Jimenez made a diving save.
"One of the big things we did was put one of our captains and most physical players on her," said Dow or Morin. "We told (Sam Cote): 'That's your job. Take her out of the game and make her work hard.' She did. It worked well. They had a hard time getting any kind of offense. She was key to shutting her down."
Morin, an all-star midfielder, had a chance on a free kick midway through the second half, but Jimenez made the stop.
Then with 9:38 left, Carrier made it 2-0 with a high shot that slipped underneath the crossbar. With 5:29 remaining, she had a direct kick that bounced off a defender and went into the right side of the net.
"It feels really good, especially since it wasn't too close and we actually pulled ahead," said Carrier.
Lewiston had scored two goals in just two previous games this year and been shutout five times.
"We finally learned how to score," said Dow. "This is the biggest offense we've had, which is good. We're using the width of the field instead of going up the middle."