Edward Little’s Ava Braunscheidel, left, and Julia Berube leap over Lewiston goalie Gemma Landry to avoid a collision after Landry slid to cover up a loose ball during the first half of Tuesday’s game in Lewiston. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

LEWISTON — Lewiston and Edward Little girls teams played 180 total minutes of hard-nosed, physical and emotional soccer this season, including 90 minutes Tuesday that ended in a 0-0 draw.

The tie doesn’t mean too much for the Blue Devils (3-8-3), playoff-wise. They entered Tuesday’s game as the eighth seed in Class A North with little chance of moving higher or lower.

The Red Eddies, however, needed a win as well as wins from Oxford Hills and Bangor, both of which happened, to squeak into the postseason.

No. 8 Lewiston will host No. 9 Brewer on Saturday in the preliminary round of the A North playoffs. 

“Either way we were going to be in, which was one of our goals at the beginning of the season,” Lewiston coach Jeff Akerley said. “One of our goals was to be .500 or better, which didn’t happen, but the other was to make the playoffs and we did that and it’s really exciting. I think the girls are excited about it, too.”

Edward Little put a lot of pressure on Lewiston’s defense in the first half. Attackers Ella Boucher, Ava Braunscheidel and Julia Berube moved the ball around and got up the field with tremendous speed, but shots on target were hard to find in the first 40 minutes. 

The Eddies had shots near the net, but not on-target, which was a struggle throughout the season. 

“Offensively, I thought we had chances,” Edward Little coach Miles Bisher said. “We put in crosses, we had some free kicks, it’s just a microcosm of the season in that we couldn’t finish and that was our undoing.”

Lewiston had possibly its best chance with 9:32 left in the half when a foul called on an EL defender in the penalty box, giving the Blue Devils a chance at a penalty kick.

Edward Little’s Chantel Ouellette, left, and Lewiston’s Charlotte Cloutier battle for the ball during Tuesday night’s girls soccer game at Lewiston High School. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Charlotte Cloutier took a short run up but shot over the cross bar, keeping the game scoreless. 

After the penalty kick, the Eddies started to really push the offensive pressure. 

With around eight minutes remaining in the first half, EL had a couple opportunities in front of goal, but the first shot at Lewiston junior Gemma Landry was saved, then the next went just-wide left. 

Landry was everywhere for Lewiston, preserving the tie multiple times with diving, reaching and intelligently positioned saves. 

Landry, as well as Edward Little’s Chantel Ouellette, won the player of the game awards after the game. The Maca Roddy Memorial Trophy was given to the Blue Devils after the game because they won the season series last year, even though the two 2019 games were played to draws. The rivals’ first meeting on Oct. 3 ended in a 1-1 tie.

The second half Tuesday began with a fury of offense from both teams, and Lewiston almost scored 25 seconds in when Cloutier put on a shot up close.

EL goalkeeper Hailee Brown made two saves in the second half, and had to come out of net a few times to try and stop the quick attack of Cloutier, Leah Landry and other Blue Devils up top.

“She played junior varsity most of the season, but I decided to put her in late in the year and she played a great game and made a huge goal-line save,” Bisher said. “I thought she stepped up and had a great game.”

The Eddies didn’t let up on offense in the second half. They put seven shots on goal after halftime, but Landry was there each and every time. 

“I think Gemma Landry deservedly had the MVP,” Akerley said. “She’s been such a force for us all year long. If it wasn’t for her, surely there would be some other goals that would’ve gone in. She’s one of the best in the state, without a doubt.”

Lewiston’s Charlotte Cloutier, left, and Edward Little’s Caroline Hammond vie for the ball during the first half of Tuesday’s game in Lewiston. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Berube had a few chances on her own as she showed off her pace down the sidelines and defenders a few times, but the Eddies couldn’t get the ball could get past Landry.

In overtime, the stakes were raised even higher for EL as the possibility of missing the playoffs loomed closer and closer. 

Lewiston put up a shot with 2:30 left in the first overtime period, but it was saved, then missed two headers with less than a minute left. 

Berube put up Edward Little’s best shot of the second overtime with two minutes left, but the shot went wide.

Bisher was happy with the passion with which his team played. 

“I told the girls I couldn’t be prouder of them as far as effort and attitude goes,” Bisher said. “We were physical, we were stepping to the ball, we never buckled or broke. I thought we played well defensively, and obviously they had some great chances but we had some great chances and it was a typical Lewiston and EL game. Just like on the boys side, you never know what you’re gonna get, but it’s going to be a darn good game.”

On the Lewiston side, Akerley is going to take the next couple days to focus on finishing in the final third. 

“I think what we need to do is work over the next couple days on finishing and doing some different drills that inspire the girls to finish, and if we can do some of that in practice then hopefully it will transfer to a real game situation,” Akerley said.

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