Mt. Blue’s Alissa Butterfield (12) and Brunswick’s Logan Brown (11) battle for the ball in a soccer game at Caldwell Field in Farmington on Saturday. Tony Blasi/Sun Journal

FARMINGTON — Mt. Blue was missing several key players, including two co-captains, and was forced to take a defensive posture against Brunswick for most of Saturday’s Class A girls soccer game.

But Brunswick freshman Alexis Morin found a way to slip the ball past Cougars goalie Caitlin Burke for the game-winning goal with 5:53 left in the second half, lifting the Dragons to a hard-fought 1-0 victory at Caldwell Field.

Morin was positioned in front of the net and deposited her first-ever game-winning varsity goal.

“I got (the goal) on the edge of my foot,” Morin said. “… I was happy that we scored because we weren’t having our best first half, but we worked hard in the second half and got (the goal) in. The team is awesome, and, yeah, I am having a good year.”

For much of Saturday’s showdown, the Cougars (7-3) kept the Dragons (9-1) at bay, with Burke (seven saves) keeping a unwavering vigil in net.

Mt. Blue goalie Caitlyn Burke reaches to make a save as Brunswick’s Molly Taub appears to duck while Mt. Blue’s Abby Goodspeed (9) looks on during a soccer game in Farmington on Saturday. Tony Blasi/Sun Journal

“When you are playing a team like Brunswick that has scored a lot of goals, you know you are going to have to defend a lot,” Mt. Blue assistant coach Griffin Conlogue said. “We are really lean right now. We’ve got three key starters out with injuries and have players that stepped up.

“Alissa Butterfield, who was a swing player earlier in the year, is now a starter at the center midfield and she has filled in admirably. We have Sadie McDonough filling in at defensive center mid position. Those players are really doing a great job. Brunswick is one of the best teams in the league and we have done a really good job of holding them off from chances.”

Conlogue was impressed with Burke’s goaltending and praised the team’s two center midfielders — Hannah Wilbur and Emma Casavant for their performances.

Mt. Blue’s Eryn Parlin (17) and Brunswick’s Elysia Palmer (21) raced for the ball in a soccer game at Caldwell Field in Farmington on Saturday. Tony Blasi/Sun Journal

“We did have some chances to tie it up there at the end,” Conlogue said. “I honestly thought that goal, we could have stopped that. We slightly missed a tackle on that one and the goalie’s vision was kind of clouded there.

“We were very proud of how we played defensively. … Our attacking player, Eryn Parlin, who is one of the league’s leading scorers, every time she touched the ball, all you could hear is the Brunswick coach over there screaming, ‘Double the ball,’ or, ‘Get more players on the ball.’ So to have a player on your team that can command that much respect and that much defense, it really puts you in a position to be dangerous.”

A harried Burke was grateful for the way the defense provided her with backup against the unrelenting Dragons.

“My defense pretty much helps me so much,” Burke said. “Without them, I wouldn’t get as many saves. I think we played amazing. That was just one goal that slipped through … I mean, it is what it is. I am really proud of my defense and they helped me a ton.”

The scoreless first half was a back-and-forth affair, with both teams coming up empty.

“I wanted to keep it tight in the first half,” Brunswick coach Martyn Davison said. “I knew it would be a tough game. They are very defensive as a team. They play like six in the back at all times. I watched the game at Camden and they did the same thing. Lost 1-0 and it could have been 0-0.

“So I knew (Mt. Blue head coach) Fred (Conlogue) was going to do the same thing. So I wanted to keep it tight the first half. I give them credit. They battled well; they defended really well.”

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