AUBURN — Edward Little remembered what happened on Sept. 17 at Brunswick High School.

The Dragons scored seven second-half goals and rolled to a 9-0 thrashing of the Red Eddies.

In the rematch Tuesday, Brunswick coach Mark Roma knew the Red Eddies were going to be different, tougher, and he was right.

Edward Little struck for the game’s first goal, but the depth of the Dragons won out in the end as Brunswick emerged with a 3-1 Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference boys soccer victory.

“It was not the same team that we played,” Roma said of the Red Eddies. “We knew we were going to have to grind it out today.”

“We’ve referenced September 17th a lot this year, and the boys wanted to play Brunswick again and it showed early, but Brunswick did a good job bouncing back, especially in the second half,” said Edward Little coach Tim Mains, whose Red Eddies fall to 4-6 and currently sit five Heal points out of a Class A North playoff spot with four games remaining. “We wanted to show them what we could do, and ultimately I was pleased with the start.”

Edward Little struck for the game’s first goal. Andrea Peserico took a pass from Hassan Jibril and launched a shot past the dive of Brunswick (10-1) goaltender Jack McDiarmid at the 10-minute mark.

“We wanted to put one in early,” EL defender Kegan Rodrigue said. “We wanted to play defensive, knowing Brunswick has some conductors in the middle.”

The work of Brunswick’s Sam Foye led to the tying goal four minutes after Peserico’s opening tally.

Foye worked to win the ball in the corner and chipped a pass to Lane Foushee, whose shot found a home in the net behind EL goaltender Mack Sampson with 26:19 left until halftime.

“We knew they had the same amount of time as we did and they pushed us hard in the beginning and scored that goal,” Foye said. “We knew we had to string some passes together and not let their momentum come onto our side. We have practiced that play all season, going down the outside of the 18(-yard box) and sending in crosses.”

“We had a similar game at Mt. Blue on Saturday (a 3-2 Brunswick win), and it was good for us to show that we don’t need to panic and just push back,” Roma said.

The halftime statistics were nearly even, with both teams attempting two corner kicks and the Dragons holding a slight 5-4 edge in shots on goal.

SECOND-HALF ADJUSTMENTS

Brunswick began shutting down Edward Little’s offensive lanes for as the second half progressed. Unlike the first 40 minutes, the Red Eddies had difficulty stringing passes together, and the Dragons began winning the possession battle.

“We changed personnel a little bit and talked about what was working and what wasn’t,” Roma said. “We wanted to start from the back and work our way up. We went back to what we do well and it paid off.”

Foushee tallied his second goal 6:39 into the second half, again taking a cross from Foye and ripping a waist-high shot past the dive of Sampson (six saves) for a 2-1 Dragons lead.

“We knew they would come with energy in the second half, just like they did at Brunswick,” Mains said. “We were only down 2-0 that day and had some opportunities. It was fairly even, but in the second half they brought it to us. When that second goal went in, Brunswick shifted to a much more defensive system. It was tough for us to find space.”

EL’s best opportunities came on long throw-ins from Jacob Jackson, which forced the Dragons defense of Milan VanLeer, Coenradt Taylor and Alec Hess to come up with clears to midfield.

Brunswick earned a two-goal advantage with 15:09 left. Hakon Lentz won a 50-50 ball near midfield, sending teammate Josh Musica into open space. Musica made no mistake, finding the back of the net for a 3-1 Brunswick advantage.

With four games remaining, the challenge for the Red Eddies will be to close strong as they try to make a playoff push.

“I’m thinking we’re getting into the postseason, but we realize it is put up or shut up,” Mains said. “We need to win these games, at least win against Oxford Hills Thursday, and Skowhegan and Messalonskee next week, teams in similar positions. It is either win or go home.”

Brunswick, which visits Cony on Friday, finished with a 4-3 edge in corner kicks and a 10-4 shot advantage. McDiarmid turned aside three shots for the win.


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