BRUNSWICK — Oxford Hills midfielder Mikayla Morin broke through the Brunswick defense and deposited a shot behind Dragons netminder Haley Murano.
But the goal, just a footnote in the Vikings’ 5-1 Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference girls' soccer loss to the undefeated Dragons (10-0), might turn out to be a turning point for Oxford Hills with three games remaining. The Vikings are trying to hold on to the 10th and final playoff position in the Eastern Maine Class A Heal Point standings.
“Since I started coaching here three years ago, that is the first goal against Brunswick, so that is pretty positive for us,” said Oxford Hills coach Cortney Lefebvre, whose 3-6-2 Vikings visit Mt. Ararat at Topsham on Friday at 4:30 p.m. “We didn’t come into this game expecting a win, but we were looking for a tie. We held them to two goals in the second half, a 2-1 game in the second half, so we played better.”
“We’ve had a hard time scoring this year, so it was good to get one at the end today after having some tough games recently and hopefully build on something,” said Morin.
For Brunswick, the combination of Paige Tetu, Anna Cowan and Rachel Moroney proved to be too much for Oxford Hills, which also had trouble cracking the Dragons' defense of Allison Hill, Lyse Henshaw and Lauren Carlton.
Tetu assisted on her team’s first four goals and finished Brunswick’s win by beating Oxford Hills goaltender Sam Bickford, who had 17 saves, including several from point-blank range.
“Brunswick is a tough team to play against, with some skilled players who connect really well, making it tough to guard everyone all at once,” said Morin.
“It always seems to be Paige to Rach, Paige to Anna, Anna to Paige, and each of them have a lot of assists this year, which is great,” said Brunswick coach Martyn Davison, whose team will host 7-1 Hampden Academy on Thursday.
Brunswick jumped on top six minutes in as Cowan got her knee on a corner kick from Tetu for a 1-0 Dragons advantage.
Oxford Hills stayed in the game for the next 25 minutes, with Bickford making five saves, including a big stop on a Moroney breakaway.
The Dragons kept coming, outshooting the Vikings 11-2 in the first half. Goals by Moroney (9:11 remaining) and Cowan (21.2 seconds left) were both assisted by Tetu as Brunswick went to the half up 3-0.
“Our passing was definitely on point today, and Anna and I made some great connections,” said Tetu, who set up Cowan two minutes into the second half for a 4-0 Brunswick lead. “To get those last two goals before halftime made us more comfortable going into the second half, knowing we could relax and use our possession.
“We have made amazing progress, and I would have never guessed we would be undefeated, and beat Bangor this season. Now, we are looking forward to the playoffs and seeing where it takes us.”
Tetu made it 5-0 with 6:42 left.
“We hadn’t played since last Tuesday, and at times the game seemed very slow, but we scored five goals, so you can’t complain about that,” said Davison. “When you don’t play for week, when you’re used to playing every two or three days, it’s tough. There is only so much practice you can do at this point.”
Brunswick held a 28-6 shots advantage, with keeper Haley Murano making two saves. The Dragons held a 6-3 edge in corner kicks.
“I think we need to beat some of those teams ranked just in front of us to get into the playoffs,” said Morin, whose Vikings face Edward Little (Oct. 9) at home and visit Lewiston (Oct. 11) in their regular-season finale. “We need to play like we know how to play to get there.”
“I think we can stay 10th from here, with some beatable teams coming up,” said Lefebvre. “Our last three games are all winnable for us. We just have to come out and play.