AUBURN — Through three halves of play this season against Mt. Blue, top-seeded Edward Little was all even with the Cougars.

Then an inspired halftime speech by head coach Tim Mains and a quick start to the second half turned a scoreless game into 4-0 win for the No. 1 Red Eddies over the No. 9 Cougars in a Class A North boys’ soccer quarterfinal Tuesday.

“I gave them a speech at halftime about, just, this is it. It’s win or go home at this point,” Mains said. “You got to just give it everything you got.”

Message received by the players, from the opening touch after halftime. It took Christian Beliveau only 19 seconds to take a rebound of Jarod Norcross Plourde’s initial shot and put it into the goal for a 1-0 lead.

“We just came out fired up,” Beliveau said. “Coach really got us fired up at halftime, and we knew we could do it.”

That Beliveau was there for the put-back in the first place could be traced back to the first half, when the Red Eddies (12-2-1) put a hard shot on Mt. Blue goalie Tucker Carleton, but no one was home for a rebound chance.

“I think as the game even happened, (assistant coach Corey Morin) and I started realizing it on the sideline that (Carleton) did a good job of saving that first ball, but he often hit the ball back into play, and just telling those guys to crash the net,” Mains said. “We could have had two or three off of rebounds had we been crashing the whole time.”

But the game was scoreless at half. That followed up the two teams’ regular-season meeting, which was a 2-2 draw in Auburn.

“I was impressed with Mt. Blue today,” Mains said. “I thought that they were a lot better today than when we tied them 2-2.”

“I thought in the first half we did a good job,” Cougars (3-10-3) coach Joel Smith said. “We were tight on defense, we made sure that we stopped them. They really didn’t have any good looks on goal because we were able to stop their attack.”

Then, Smith said, the Red Eddies began to move the ball better.

Beliveau’s initial tally was the lone goal until he found the back of the net again 16 minutes later. Alex Thompson’s direct kick from more than 30 yards out headed for the middle of the box, where Carleton and EL’s Joel Musese both leapt in the air for the ball. Neither got a touch on it, and Beliveau, near the left post, was in the right place at the right time.

“It’s always good to make that run, no matter what,” Beliveau said.

Six minutes later, the Red Eddies scored their third and fourth goals, a little more than a minute apart, putting the game away. Tyler Morin took a feed from Thompson into the right side of the box, then froze Carleton with a shot into the right side of the net. Then Musese created his own goal 89 seconds later.

The Cougars had a much harder time finding scoring chances. Their first and only shot on goal came with less than five minutes to play, and EL goalie Owen Mower scooped up the easy roller. But Mt. Blue had a couple of chances in the first half, thanks to long flip throw-ins by Sam Smith. Many of his throws made it into the middle of the box, and one even went into the back of the goal with six minutes left in the first half. But it didn’t make contact with anybody prior to going in, so the Red Eddies were spared.

“If that goal goes in, it’s a different game,” Joel Smith said. “The keeper touches the ball, or someone gets a touch on it, that’s a different game.”

Smith was proud of his team’s effort after the game. The Cougars only won two games during the regular season, and then a prelim over Brewer, but they were in most games. They were right there with the Red Eddies for a half, but the No. 1 seed team in the region put away a game it was supposed to.

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