LEWISTON – You can keep Mt. Ararat High School on the ropes for 40, even 60 minutes of a girls’ soccer game, and end up getting KO’d.

Lewiston learned that lesson Saturday morning in a valiant and deceptively one-sided 4-1 loss to the Eagles in a mutual Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference season-opener.

Surprised to be leading by a goal at halftime and blessed with the wind at their backs after intermission, the Blue Devils watched their vaunted visitors from the mid-coast conduct a toe-to-toe clinic on the turf at Don Roux Field in the second half.

Sami Owen, one of 14 seniors for Mt. Ararat, scored the tying goal and assisted the next three, all in a span of under 23 minutes.

“They’ve always been really skilled. I was happy to have us where we were at halftime, and was hoping that we could hold them and win or at least tie,” said Lewiston coach Rick Meyers. “But that was good for our girls to see. That’s what a comeback looks like, right there.”

Owen flagged down a pass from freshman Jaymee Wallace and rifled the equalizer past diving Lewiston goalkeeper Katie Cobb with 11:12 elapsed in the second half.

Six minutes later, Owen located unmarked Kelsey Karkos at point-blank range for the game-winner.

“We basically worked our formations so we were passing on the ground,” Owen said of Mt. Ararat’s halftime adjustment to the swirling wind and Lewiston’s airborne skill. “We used our middies to get those runs going down the sidelines, and the easiest way to do that was keep it on the ground.”

Wallace converted another feed from Owen with 13:40 remaining, and Karkos chalked up her second goal with 6:23 to play.

Lewiston fullback Toby Crispin broke the ice in the 34th minute of the first half with a booming, 30-yard blast into the wind that fooled Mt. Ararat keeper Bri Young and whooshed just underneath the crossbar.

“She’ll take those kicks and play ’em forward, and I’ve been on them this year to really test goalies and put those balls on the net and good things will happen,” Meyers said. “She definitely struck it well, and I think their keeper just wasn’t expecting it with the wind at her back. I wasn’t expecting it.”

Blue Devils defenders Crispin and Janna Laverdiere and midfielders Audrey Bergeron, Maria Labbe and Courtney Vallee did stellar work in front of Cobb (18 saves) to contest Mt. Ararat’s early shots and force them from odd angles.

Those changes of possession never generated much offense, however. Mt. Ararat outshot Lewiston 19-6 in the first half and 37-9 overall.

“We didn’t take enough shots to really test their keeper,” said Meyers. “The wind we wanted at our back I guess was the wind we ran out of in the end.”

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