Brewer’s Melaina Eaton and Edward Little’s Caroline Hammond race to the ball during Tuesday afternoon’s game in Auburn. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

AUBURN — Brewer coach David Hamel is aware of his team’s possession problems this season, but that doesn’t mean he was willing to let his team quit. 

With one minute remaining in the Witches’ road matchup against Edward Little, striker Morgan Honey was down on herself with the score tied. 

“She hasn’t really scored as much as she’s wanted to,” Hamel said. “I was looking at her before that play and I said, ‘Keep your head up,’ and as soon as I did she turned and saw the ball in flight and took off.”

Honey went and got the ball in the right side of the box and found an opening to slide the game-winning goal into with 33 seconds left to give Brewer a 2-1 girls soccer win Tuesday.

“Honestly, I saw a big opportunity that if I missed I would have really regretted,” Honey said. “I just went for it and was going to do anything to get that goal.”

The late-winner was par for the course for the Red Eddies (2-5) this season. 

“I told the girls we need to learn how to win,” Edward Little coach Miles Bisher said. “That’s three games now. We lost to Brunswick in the last 10 seconds of double overtime, we lost to Brewer in the last 35 seconds of the game, Mt. Blue we lost in the last 10 minutes of the game, and we had a lead in two of them.

“It’s something internal that has to click for them. We have to put the pedal to the metal and finish out games. I thought we lost the hunger after the first goal.”

The game started with both teams getting a feel for the game before Edward Little struck first.

Edward Little’s Desiree Roussel sweeps the ball as Brewers’ Melaina Eaton charges during Tuesday afternoon’s game in Auburn. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Six minutes into the match, the ball fell to the foot of Natalie Garcia, who took a shot but her foot connected with the ball at an awkward angle. The ball ricocheted off the right post and was fumbled by Brewer (2-5-1) goalkeeper Bella Tanis for a goal that gave the Eddies the early 1-0 lead. 

From there, Edward Little dominated the possession for most of the first half. With five minutes remaining in the first, Edward Little grouped in front of Witches’ the net trying to slip the ball past Tanis. Four shots were attempted but all we saved or blocked, and Brewer kept the deficit at 1-0.

Tanis came up even bigger two minutes later when she was called upon to take a penalty kick for the Witches. Honey had just made an impressive run past a couple of Eddies and into the box, and was charging at the keeper when she was bumped and knocked down inside the penalty box. 

Tanis, a freshman, had taken Brewer’s only other penalty earlier in the year, but it was blocked. That didn’t phase Tanis on Tuesday.

“We’ve practiced it and in practice. She scores them and always hits the same spot every time,” Hamel said. “I kind of looked at her and I asked, ‘Do you want it?’ And she said, ‘Yes,’ so I said, ‘OK, it’s yours.’”

Tanis made the kick, tying the game at 1-1. The goal provided a boost for Brewer. 

Edward Little’s Ella Boucher kicks the soccer ball as Brewer’s Lexi Furrow and Jordan Doak defend during Tuesday afternoon’s game in Auburn. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

“That was insane,” Honey said. “If she didn’t get that, I feel like we would’ve been really down on ourselves. We pulled it together, and that really helped it.”

Edward Little put up 11 shots in the first half and added seven more in the second half, but only found the back of the net once. Tanis made save after save, keeping the Witches in the game until the final minute when she finally got some relief from Honey’s goal. 

“We possessed the ball well, we combined well wide, but we just couldn’t finish,” Bisher said. “That’s the game of soccer. We dominated possession against Mt. Blue and couldn’t finish. If you aren’t going to finish, you aren’t going to win.”

Both teams entered into Tuesday’s contest outside of the playoff picture, but Brewer’s win helps its chances of catching Mt. Blue or Lewiston with the postseason fast approaching. 

“This is a super big win,” Honey said. “It’s huge and I’m really excited for the playoffs and the season to come.”

Edward Little’s Julia Berube and Brewer’s Sydney Pine struggle for control of the ball during Tuesday afternoon’s game in Auburn. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

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