LEWISTON — It was a bit of a warmup for the postseason on a chilly Tuesday night.

Two of the top teams in Eastern A were finishing off the regular season while jostling for final playoff position.

It was Lewiston that got the upper hand with a second half goal from Mohamed Ali to lift the Blue Devils over Brunswick, 1-0.

“The ball came in front to me, but I was ready for it,” said Ali, a senior forward. “So I just took a shot, no extra touches.”

Lewiston had blanked the Dragons 3-0 earlier in the season.

“This is a huge win,” Lewiston coach Mike McGraw said. “You can see that the level of play has evened off, and it’s anybody’s ballgame.”

With the victory, Lewiston (11-1-2)  likely takes the second spot in Eastern A behind top-ranked Mt. Ararat. Brunswick (8-4-2) holds the fourth seeding.

Play was even for much of the game. Both teams had some good opportunities, but Lewiston’s speed and quickness gave them the edge in possession on the turf field at Bates College.

“I think we controlled about 75 percent of the play and 75 percent of the field, but it was going to come down to who was going to finish,” said McGraw.

That proved to be Ali’s moment with 17:59 left in regulation. Yusuf Yama won possession of the ball in the right corner. He crossed it into traffic in front of the net.

Ali never actually saw the ball coming until it arrived.

“It was crowded,” said Ali. “I didn’t know the ball was going to come to me. It came to me. I knew I had to look at angles and the goalie was on the other side. So I took the shot.”

Yama had a bid late in the game that would have padded the lead, but Brunswick keeper Greg Walton made a diving save. Walton also stopped a try by Lucas Schulze.

Brunswick’s only real scoring opportunities  in the second half came late in regulation but both missed the net. Konnor Scarponi put a free kick over the cross bar with 3:30 left. Then a Jesse Arford shot missed  with 1:10 remaining.

“I’m very proud of the defenders that I had, not just the defensive backs but the midfielders that came back and the forwards that came back and helped out,” said McGraw. “As a whole team, the kids did a tremendous job.”

It was a fairly even first half of play. Both teams had a prime chance or two. Patrick Kinee had a shot for Brunswick that Lewiston goalie Eric Soucy made a nice sprawling save on. Then Lewiston had a shot by Schulze go over the net. Another Blue Devil bid had two players in front for a potential tip that was missed.

“Everyone was panicking because we knew it was the last game,” said Ali. “We wanted to win.”

Though Lewiston was putting a lot of its shots over the net, the defensive job on the Dragons gave the Blue Devils time to finally finish one.

“Our kids did a great job on Scarponi, who’s a stellar player,” said McGraw. “Ryan Black is a dangerous player. Our kids did a great job neutralizing him. I can’t say enough about the kids defense.”

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: