AUBURN — In a back-and-forth Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference boys’ high school lacrosse game, the end came down to the most basic concept.
Tied 5-5, Edward Little won the overtime faceoff. The Red Eddies never allowed Mt. Ararat to possess the ball, with EL’s Leighton Girardin unleashing a wicked shot through traffic and into the back of the Eagle cage, giving the Red Eddies a 6-5 overtime win on Thursday at Walton Field.
Edward Little earned its second win against six defeats, while Mt. Ararat is 3-5 and visits Deering on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
“There have been so many games where we haven’t finished strong. Today we did everything 100 percent and we made good shots,” said Girardin, who discussed his game-winner. “It opened up and I took it as fast as I could. This is a huge win. We had two kids on the bench. We are the most resilient team that EL has ever had.”
In a game that featured tight defense, the final moments of regulation showed some offensive spark.
Riley Morin gave Mt. Ararat a 4-3 lead with 6:33 remaining, but EL tied the game as Tyler Smith tallied his fourth goal of the contest.
With 2:33 left, the Red Eddies claimed a 5-4 advantage as Caleb Davis set up teammate Caleb Strout.
As time ticked away, Mt. Ararat goaltender Dan Jackson stopped Dawson Tracey point-blank, one of his 10 saves. The Eagles countered on offense, with Nolan Blessington’s second goal evening the game with 34.1 ticks left.
“We show flashes of good mental toughness,” said Mt. Ararat coach Matt Haskell. “It is just putting it together for 48 minutes, something we haven’t done this season.”
Neither team led by more than one goal throughout the hard-hitting battle. Both goaltenders came through with big saves as EL netminder Gunnar Winslow returned from an injury and made nine stops.
“He has been phenomenal for us, and our defense has been great,” said EL coach Tom Smith, whose Red Eddies visit Gorham on Saturday at 11 a.m. “Our defense played strong. Storm (Jipson) was excellent, (Nick) Davis played well and Cayden Childs did well. We had zero extra subs and ran the whole bench today. They competed the entire game.”
“We generated opportunities on offense and their goalie did a great job with some huge saves,” Haskell said.
Tyler Smith tallied the lone goal of the first quarter off an assist from Girardin for a 1-0 EL lead.
The quarter ended with Mt. Ararat picking up a pair of penalties, putting the Eagles down two players. Mt. Ararat killed off both infractions and tied the game moments later as Keegan Brown finished off a Morin setup. Morin gave the Eagles their first lead, with Eli Schoenberg earning an assist.
“For a good stretch there we had time of possession,” said Haskell.
Tyler Smith tied the game with 3:29 left until halftime as EL took advantage of a man-up chance.
In the third quarter, Blessington for the Eagles and Tyler Smith for the Red Eddies traded goals, and Morin put the visitors on top, 4-3, midway through the final frame, setting off the wild finish.
“This was really fun,” said Coach Smith. “They have learned by experience, losing to Mt. Blue earlier this season. We used that experience and came through today.”
Haskell, whose Eagles lost 8-of-12 faceoffs, said it was frustrating to see his team fail to gain possession in overtime after tying the game late.
“After you win that possession, you are in no hurry to turn the ball over. They had the edge in faceoffs and we just didn’t adjust,” the Mt. Ararat coach said. “We just didn’t make good reads and EL made good on their opportunities.”
The Red Eddies held a 16-14 advantage on shots on goal.


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