AUBURN — The Oxford Hills and Edward Little girls soccer teams have had few chances to play this season, so it was understandable that neither was at its best for 80 minutes when they faced off Thursday in Auburn.

However, the Vikings’ were good enough for spurts in the first half to notch a 4-0 road victory over the Red Eddies.

“They’re still getting used to playing together again, and they have those nice spurts of 10, 15 minutes where they connect the ball, they switch the ball. Just we can’t put together a full game yet,” Oxford Hills coach Lindsay Fox said. “But it’s all about the fun of it. I’m really happy with what they’re doing.”

The Vikings (1-0-1) were playing just their second game of the season after Oxford County sports were shut down for two weeks to start the season. The Red Eddies (0-3) were playing their second game in as many days after having just one prior contest. That affected the hosts in the first half Thursday.

“I understand, one of the reasons why we’re flat (in the first half) is because we played Leavitt yesterday. So this is back-to-back games when we haven’t played games in a year, and so you’re just not used to it. And we’ve only played one game up to this point, so that’s a really tough thing to do for an athlete, when you haven’t played for so long and then have to play back-to-back,” Edward Little coach Miles Bisher said. “But I’m proud of how we responded in the second half. It was much better.”

Oxford Hills opened the scoring 8:45 into the game when Cassidy Dumont arced a long shot off the crossbar and Bella DeVivo crashed in to put home the loose ball.

“They do an amazing job of that every time. They know that they need to crash the goal, and that’s what I’ve been saying this game, ‘You have to be crashing it,'” Fox said. “And they’re really good about doing that, and they know that that’s where they can get their goals.”

That 1-0 lead stood until late in the first half when the Vikings scored twice in the final 4:05.

Oxford Hills’ second goal came on a friendly bounce, as Ella Kellogg’s rolling cross from the left corner went off a defender and tricked EL goalie Hailee Brown.

Edward Little’s Faith Small, left, and Oxford Hills’ Katherine Hallee compete for control of the ball during Thursday afternoon’s soccer game in Auburn. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

The third and final goal of the half came with two seconds left. Brown initially denied DeVivo point-blank, but then Celia Melanson booted the ball into the goal. Brown was shaken up on the play.

“I didn’t get a good look at it, but (Hailee) made it sound like she had the ball in her hands and (the Oxford Hills player) just gave a good knock at it until they heard the whistle and that was it,” Bisher said. “So she took it in the head. But she’s OK.”

Allie Annear replaced Brown in the second half, but that was by design, as Bisher is employing a platoon this season. Brown made three saves in the first half, and Annear six in the second half.

“It wasn’t lack of effort from them, certainly,” Bisher said.

The Red Eddies pushed for a goal of their own early in the second half, but they weren’t able to put any shots on Oxford Hills goalie Elizabeth Hallee, who replaced starter Cassidy MacIsaac (one save in the first half), until one on-target attempt late in the game.

Edward Little’s Ella Boucher, right, and Oxford Hills’ Elizabeth Hallee race to the ball during Thursday afternoon’s soccer game in Auburn. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

“My two middle defenders, Kaity Motelongo and Lucy Leonard, they hold the middle for us, and if I can get them to be even more vocal, I know defensively we’re one of the strongest in our area, that we can hold everybody because of those two,” Fox said.

Bisher said he was disheartened by his team’s end to the first half, but said its play was much improved after making some halftime adjustments.

“We started playing to feet more, started switching fields more and combining a little bit more. And had we done that the whole game I think it would have been a different story,” Bisher said.

The adjustments included giving the Vikings less time and space offensively, though Dumont did find an opening late in the game to score the final goal with a looping shot from the top of the box that eluded Annear.

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