Suab Nur of Lewiston High School dribbles past Sean Rethi of Mt. Ararat during the first half in Lewiston on Tuesday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

LEWISTON — It was a long shot and it took a long shot to beat previously undefeated Lewiston.

Mt. Ararat entered Tuesday night’s KVAC Class A North boys soccer matchup with a barely-above-.500 record, but Mason Brigham’s 60-plus-yard direct kick went over the heads of a charging Lewiston goalie Michael Belleau and the Blue Devils’ defense and into the back of the goal to give the Eagles the only goal it needed for a 1-0 win at Don Roux Field on Tuesday.

“I mean, we got lucky on there,” Brigham said. “He came out a bit too far, went over him — we got a goal, so that’s what matters.”

The loss for Lewiston (11-1) was its first in 38 games. The Blue Devils’ last loss in MPA competition was at Mt. Ararat on Oct.5, 2017, also by a 1-0 score.

Brigham was on that team, but couldn’t recall much of that game, though he did remember the joy of victory felt the same. Mt. Ararat’s (6-4-2) bench rushed out to meet their teammates on the field after surviving a last-minute chance by the Blue Devils.

With less than 30 seconds to play, Kurtis Pelletier sent a cross from the right side to the left, and Suab Nur headed the ball toward the goal but Bilal Hersi’s ensuing header rang off the post. The Eagles couldn’t clear, but the Blue Devils didn’t put another shot on target.

“What a magnificent high school soccer game played tonight, and you got to give (Mt. Ararat coach Jack Rioux) and his team all the credit because they did all the things they had to defensively,” Lewiston coach Mike McGraw said. “And I think they had a little bit of luck, especially towards the end.”

Luck was on the Eagles’ side earlier in the second half after Hersi was taken down in the box with 25 minutes to play and the Blue Devils were awarded a penalty kick. Hersi’s younger brother, Khalid, took the kick and hit it off the same left post his brother’s header did later in the game. The ball went back to Khalid Hersi, whose rebound shot was nullified because the penalty-taker can’t be the first person to touch the ball after a post rebound.

“I was thinking, ‘Oh man, we’re in trouble,’ when (the penalty kick) happened, and then hit the post,” Rioux said. “I was thinking we were very fortunate at that point.”

Leandro Auger of Lewiston High School competes for a header with Sebastian Varela, left, and John Martin of Mt. Ararat during the first half in Lewiston on Tuesday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

“They missed the PK, we felt really grateful for that,” Brigham said. “Lot of faith in (goalie James Singleton). We got lucky, he hit the post. James went that way. Who knows what would have happened if he didn’t hit the post, we’re just grateful that it didn’t go in.”

Brigham’s goal came less than four minutes later.

“It’s unfortunate. It’s something that we have to continue to work on because we’ve done a lot of work defending against set pieces, and we’ve done a really good job,” McGraw said. “You know, it’s a Mt. Ararat game, and set pieces are a very, very big part of October.”

The Blue Devils nearly scored on a set piece of their own with just under six minutes left. Khalid Hersi’s 53-yard direct kick went through a scrum in the box to Leandro Auger, who put a shot past Singleton, but Auger was ruled offsides.

Singleton, who McGraw said is “one of the best in the state, there’s no question,” stopped all eight shots he faced.

Belleau faced just one in each half, with a first-half shot also coming off a long direct kick.

“I’m happy for Mt. Ararat,” McGraw said. “I’m sad for us, but I think it was something that is going to make us better.”

Bilal Hersi of Lewiston High School focuses on the ball while being defended by Jonah Zell, left, and Mason Brigham of Mt. Ararat during the first half in Lewiston on Tuesday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal


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