AUBURN — Edward Little coach Tyler Shennett stopped during the postgame speech with his players to remind them, and perhaps himself, that the Red Eddies had just won.

“I’m genuinely happy,” Shennett told the team.

Edward Little was aggressive and built a nice lead in the first half and then had to hold off Hampden’s attack in the second to earn a 3-2 Class A North girls soccer victory Wednesday.

The Red Eddies (2-2-1) scored three first-half goals to take a 3-0 lead into halftime.

“I think our passing was fantastic,” junior forward Gabby Gerry said. “Really, we did a good job spacing out and keeping our heads up, looking out for each other. The spacing overall was really good.”

Gerry set the tone with a goal 2:33 into the match. The ball bounced free in front of the goal after a kick from Hampden, and Gerry beat the goalie to it and put it in the net.


“Someone kind of crossed it in, like curved it a little bit, and I took advantage of it because it was in the middle,” Gerry said, “and then I crossed it to the outside with the outside of my foot, and then I curved it to the left side and then I popped it over the goalie, and it went in.”

“You put the ball at Gabby’s feet, she’s dangerous on that wing,” first-year Red Eddies coach Shennett said. “She’s crafty, her footwork’s unreal. She’s definitely one of our most dangerous players.”

The Red Eddies continued to attack. Their chances were stopped by Hampden goalie Gretchen Nash or their shots went wide or over the goal, but they stayed aggressive.

Defender Lexi Kelsea sent a free kick toward the goal that was nearly headed into the net. A few minutes later, Kelsea had another free kick, and this time she booted the ball over Nash’s outstretched arms from about 30 yards out to push the Red Eddies’ lead to 2-0 with 14:36 remaining in the first half.

“Not only is she solid defensively and really is a solid backbone for us, outside of our keeper, but she also is a huge weapon for us going forward,” Shennett said.

About three minutes later, junior Violet Vincent booted the ball on the ground with her left foot and it skidded past Nash (eight saves) into the net to make it 3-0.


“I think it was like a jumble in front of the goal, and I just was the first one to get a tap, and it got it just past the goalie,” Vincent said.

Shennett was proud after Vincent’s goal, especially that she scored with her left foot, and of her overall performance Wednesday.

“Violet, in the first half, she had three shots with her left foot. She’s a righty,” he said. “And she was very dynamic today, she took it first time, didn’t hesitate, and those are the kind of things we’re looking for, especially from our center mids — when they get an opportunity, they got to take it.

“All in all, her work rate throughout that game was fantastic, she didn’t give up, she kept fighting. She was a workhorse today.”

Freshman Grace Marquis became the catalyst for the Broncos (1-4) in the second half, sending passes into space to set up chances for her teammates.

“In the beginning of the game, she held on to the ball too much. She’s got amazing skills; probably has the best skills probably in the state. I’ve never seen anything like it,” Hampden coach Chris Hink said. “They physically just pounded her … and I told her, ‘You have to play two-, three-touch soccer.’ And once she started doing that in the second half — and I told them, ‘Everybody’s three-touch soccer or I’m taking you out,’ and then we started moving, we started going off the ball, we started making the right runs, and good things happened.”


Paige Richard was the first beneficiary of Marquis’ passing, gathering a pass and then beating Edward Little goalie Izzy Jalbert one-on-one for a goal nearly 12 minutes into the second half. Richard had another chance less than a minute later, but her shot went wide.

Hampden’s scoring opportunities keep coming. Midway through the second half, Richard almost had another one-on-one opportunity against Jalbert, but Kelsea shut it down. It was clear the Broncos were playing much better than they did in the first 40 minutes.

They were coming off their first win of the season, 4-1 over Messalonskee on Tuesday night, and Hink said that the players had to mentally overcome the fatigue of playing two days in a row.

“It was just about finding another gear. We played Messo (Messalonskee) last night, you know, beat them 4-1, played a heck of a game, and you come on a long trip like this, your tired,” Hink said. “But, it’s not an excuse, and the girls owned up to that and they realized, like, ‘Hey, we do have that second gear.’

“We came together as a team … the bench was excited. After we got that first goal, it’s like, ‘We got this, we can do it.'”

Though they were fewer, the Red Eddies created a few chances in the second half. With about 17 minutes to play, Gerry sent a pass toward the goal but Favour Monday couldn’t get to it before it rolled out of bounds.


A couple of minutes later, Nivri Harnish booted the ball from outside the box over Jalbert’s head to cut the lead to 3-2 with 15:34 remaining.

Hampden’s offense continued to penetrate the Edward Little defense, but usually Kelsea ended the threats before they became Jalbert’s problem to deal with.

“She’d bust her butt back there,” Vincent said of Kelsea. “She’s definitely the central player back there and she holds it together.”

Jalbert finished with seven saves. Lauryn Smart played goalie for Hampden in the second half and made four saves. She also was aggressive in moving forward in the box and preventing Edward Little from developing scoring chances.

The Broncos’ best chance to tie the game came on a free kick from the corner, near the endline, that Lucy Wiles hit with her head but the ball went a little wide.

“Just a couple of bounces away from tying that baby and making an even better game, maybe go to OT,” Hink said. “Super proud of the girls.”


The Red Eddies survived to secure their second win of the season, but it came with a mixture of satisfaction and disappointment. Which is why Shennett had to take a break from talking about what went wrong to point out that more things went right for Edward Little, including the final score.

Still, Gerry said, there are some areas that need improvement.

“I think there’s a lot to work on still,” Gerry said. “I am pleased with the result, but I still think there’s much progress to be made.”

Shennett was happy that the Red Eddies played smart late to lock up the victory and excited about the way they started the game.

“I think the first half, we came out, we played our game, we brought our energy. We were dynamic, and we executed the plan perfectly,” Shennett said. “I think sometimes — you see it a lot, is in the second half you come out and sometimes you get too comfortable. I think, realistically, that’s what happened, is we got too comfortable, and that changed our mindset and the way we were playing. And we didn’t necessarily play our game to the fullest.

“We were very direct right from the beginning. And we came out and we were ready to play today. And that’s a huge thing. Sometimes, you don’t always come out ready to play. And we really showed up ready to play. We punished them in the first half.”

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