AUBURN — Edward Little coach Max Thompson expected a dogfight in Friday’s boys soccer Class A preliminary round game against Oxford Hills.

The sixth-seeded Red Eddies, though, pulled away from the 11th-seeded Vikings with three second-half goals in a 5-2 win.

“We were concerned (that) if we gave them an opportunity, we’d have a real dogfight on our hands, and that’s what happened,” Thompson said. “We have had trouble with that; against Skowhegan (in the regular season), they also got off to a fast start. Whenever you get a team that’s an underdog, and you give them a chance, there’s always going to be a potential for problems. Oxford Hills caused us a lot of problems today, and we need to figure out a way to cut down on those opportunities.”

Edward Little’s Owen Vincent keeps control of the ball as Oxford Hills’ Kolby Brown keeps the pressure on during Friday’s game in Auburn. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

The Red Eddies (9-5-1) next travel to Brewer for an A North quarterfinal matchup with the third-seeded Witches (8-4-2) on Tuesday.

In Friday’s game, the Vikings (1-13-1) jumped out to an early 1-0 lead when Hayden Ferrell’s shot deflected off the head of an Edward Little defender and into the goal five minutes into the game.

The Red Eddies responded four minutes later when Mohamed Adow scored on a shot from the top of the box on an excellent individual effort.

Edward Little controlled the play for the rest of the half, putting 15 shots on goal and taking five corners.

“We played well; we created chances,” Edward Little midfielder Jack Thompson said. “If we can start sharpening up in front of the goal, we can go (far).”

Ben Cole put the Red Eddies up 2-1 with a nice curl just inside the far post, with about 15 minutes remaining in the first half.

Jack Thompson extended Edward Little’s lead to 3-1 early in the second half when he put home a rebound after Campbell Cassidy’s shot bounced off Oxford Hills’ goalie Emmett Hand’s (10 saves) chest.

“You can’t get too excited, you can’t get too down,” Jack Thompson said. “When we scored, we stayed hungry (for more goals), and when we conceded goals, we got up again and tried to get (the goal) back.”

The Vikings responded when Paavo Johnson beat a defender to a long ball and scored on a breakaway and his low kick went past diving Edward Little goalie Eli St. Laurent, cutting Oxford Hills’ deficit to one goal, 3-2.

The Red Eddies struggled to defend the Vikings’ long aerial passes Friday.

“Hopefully, we can be a little tighter around the goal, because we didn’t give up many chances today, but the ones we did give up, they made us pay,” Max Thompson said. “We just have to be better.”

Oxford Hills had another breakaway opportunity, but St. Laurent (three saves) dove and deflected the ball out of harm’s way.

Edward Little went up 4-2 when Shukri Hassan’s 25-yard boot hit the crossbar and bounced past the goal line.

Josh Lavigne scored the Red Eddies’ fifth goal, finishing off a feed from Campbell Cassidy.

Lavigne’s and Hasson’s goals are their first of the season, while Cole’s is his second.

“If things go right, we really have the ability to have anybody put the ball in the back of the net,” Max Thompson said. “The way we are trying to play is pretty unselfish, and we need guys to finish opportunities.”

Edward Little and Brewer played to a 1-1 draw in their lone regular season meeting, Sept. 29 at Brewer.

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