AUBURN — After his team suffered its worst defeat of the season, a 4-0 to Bangor last Friday, Edward Little coach Matt Andreasen was reminded that his team is a long way from a finished product.

“These regular-season games are a lot like quizzes,” Andreasen said. “David Patterson, the Bangor coach, said that to me and I thought I’m taking that as my own.”

Andreasen gave high marks to his defense and goalkeeper Lew Jensen, but the Red Eddies’ offense couldn’t find any correct answers after playing Messalonskee to a 0-0 tie on Tuesday.

“I thought it was a fair result for us,” Andreasen said. “For the most part, Messalonskee had more possession than we did, more shots on goal (17-12), but I think the chances themselves were pretty 50/50. That’s kind of been our MO all year. We don’t control a lot of the ball but the chances we do create seem to be high-quality chances.”

EL (7-2-2) didn’t have many chances of any quality for the first 18 minutes of the game. A wall consisting of Eagles Connor Leonard, Noah Caret, Peter Littlefield and Kieran Sherman stood near midfield and kept nearly everything in the Eddies’ end.

But even spending most of the first half on the attack, the Eagles (4-4-2) could only generate six shots.

EL added a third midfielder to try to tilt the field and it paid off  in the final 12 minutes of the half.

“It seemed to work pretty well. I mean, they still possessed well, regardless, but I thought their chances weren’t as good the rest of the way,” Andreasen said.

The first of three corners in the half gave the Eddies’ their best chance. Messalonskee keeper Jonah Webb (seven saves) made a play on Landon Pope’s feed from the right corner, but got caught up in traffic and lost his balance and the ball. The Eddies’ bid at the open net floated high, however. Moments later Luke Sterling tried to head in a high bouncing pass from twin brother Seth but sent it over the crossbar.

“Composure in front of the goal has kind of been an issue with this team the last couple of games,” Andreasen said. “Early in the season, we were very well-composed in front of the net. We really were opportunistic. The last couple of games we’ve really found it difficult to find the back of the net. Maybe teams are starting to tighten up defensively a little bit, but at the same time, I thought some our chances tonight were easy finishes that we just were not able to capitalize on.”

Jensen (eight saves) usually had a good angle when the Eagles made a bid, like when Eric Van Der Karr was able to step into a shot from about 30 feet. Otherwise, defenders Brady Pleau, Evan Raymond and Kaleb Main did a good job clogging up the passing lanes.

“I’ll take my hat off to them. They’re one of the better defensive teams I’ve seen all year,” said Messalonskee coach Tom Sheridan , who was facing EL for only the second time in his seven years as Eagles coach.

There was more even action on both sides of the field in the second half, but Messalonskee still had the preponderance of early chances and EL carried the late play. Jensen denied Dylan Burton, then got a preview of coming attractions when Brandon Nale missed high on a good chance.

The Eddies had the most frustrating miss, one that struck the crossbar, with five minutes left. Webb sent the game into overtime with a nice diving stop to foil Pope, who was aiming for the far post.

Neither team had a serious scare in the extra sessions until 40 seconds remained in the second OT. Nale had Jensen out of position on the back side of a play and a good angle to work with from 15 feet out, but missed high over the crossbar.

“He just missed on that,” Sheridan said. “Hopefully, he’s learning from that and later on in the season finishing it.”


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