The University of Maine at Farmington’s Tristan Price (11) and William Heimlich (9) and UNE’s Danny O’Brien (5) and Colin Madigan (30) watch the ball get away from them in a soccer game at Leib Field in Farmington on Wednesday.

FARMINGTON — It was a game that left fans wondering if the University of Maine at Farmington’s goalie and defense would hold up and make a first-half, one-goal lead stand up at Leib Field on Wednesday.

Well, the Beavers (5-5) endured despite endless pressure from a tenacious University of New England and slipped away with a hard-fought 1-0 victory in men’s soccer action.

UMF forward James Pelletier scored the game-winner at 5:24 in the first half thanks to a cross from Luke Dwornik, who earned the assist.

But who knew that Pelletier’s goal would be the only one for the entire game?

“They (Nor’Easters) are a very direct team,” UMF coach Nathan Kronewetter said, “so whenever we lose the ball in the midfield, it is quickly up the field and pressuring our back four.

“The backs did very well. The defenders did very well. But still we are making too many mistakes. It is the middle of the season and we’ve corrected some of the mistakes that happened early in the season, but we are still at this point making too many mistakes, but the effort is there and you have to applaud the effort.

“We are learning how to collectively defend as a group and right now the gaps between players are just too large and we are making up for those gaps by the speed of our players. But against a better team, we are going to be exploited if we don’t correct those issues.”

From there on, both teams missed several chances to punch in another goal.

With a 1-0 lead hanging in the balance, that meant UMF’s defense and goalie Matthew Wilson remained under siege the rest of the game.

“Just keeping relaxed is the major key for me,” Wilson said. “We had a few mistakes, like we almost had a little tiff on the field here. So settling down and getting myself into a calm place always relaxes me and I can move around. I am all about the team.”

Wilson made nine saves against the relentless Nor’Easters (2-10), who outshot the Beavers, 20-8, and held the advantage in corners, too, 8-1.

“The goalie played very well,” Kronewetter said. “He consistently has kept us in games that, to be honest, we probably didn’t deserve to be in.

“He is standing on his head for us. But you know why? It is because our second goalkeeper (Michael Pingree), who isn’t getting all the attention, is pushing him in practice daily — and the two of them are working extremely hard.”

Wilson was clearly frustrating UNE, but more disappointing to Nor’Easters coach Peter Ostergaard was his team’s failure to capitalize on a handful of opportunities.

“That has been the story of our season,” Ostergaard said. “We can’t score a goal if our life depended on it. It is that simple.

“We gave up a goal every game we played. Not taking anything away from our opponent, but we gave up a very cheap goal. We press and press and press and we can’t score.

“When a team gets in this situation, it is tough to get out of, and we have been doing that pretty much the whole season, and we have six games left, so we are going to practice and hopefully we make a couple.”

University of New England goalie Will Shearon grabs the ball as the University of Maine at Farmington’s William Heimlich (9) closes in followed by UNE’s Cody Kennedy (3) in a soccer game at Leib Field in Farmington on Wednesday.The University of Maine at Farmington’s Enzo Gascogne (8) leaps into the air to try and stop UNE’s Nicholas Paine’s (24) shot as UMF goalie Matthew Wilson (77) looks on in a soccer game at Leib Field in Farmington on Wednesday.

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