AUBURN — Tuesday’s edition of the Lewiston/Edward Little soccer rivalry featured a couple of close calls on each side, a little controversy, and no goals.
Fans on both sides can only hope the lack of offense ultimately pays off with a playoff matchup for the third consecutive year. The Red Eddies and Blue Devils came into the game bunched into the No. 4 and No. 5 slots, respectively, in the Northern Class A Heal points and, barring a major upset by the Devils over unbeaten Bangor in their Oct. 17 season finale, could be on a collision course for the quarterfinals.
“Every time we play Lewiston High School, whether we’re doing really, really well or having an off season, it’s always very competitive, it’s always very back-and-forth and it’s always very close,” said Edward Little coach Craig Latuscha, whose team won this season’s first meeting, 3-1, in Lewiston on Sep. 13. “I remember two years ago when we made our state final run it was 0-0 and we had to beat them in double-overtime, 1-0. It’s a rivalry game.”
“Every time we play them, it’s a battle, especially here,” Lewiston coach Brant Remington said. “The last two years, when we’ve played at home, the score has been like 3-0, 3-1. Here, it seems like it’s always 1-0, 0-0, overtime and whatever. It’s a lot of fun. It good for the playoffs coming up.”
After a tentative start, the Devils (6-3-3) ended up outshooting the Eddies, 15-10, for the game. The Eddies (7-3-2) had a 3-2 edge in corner kicks.
“We haven’t scored a lot of goals but we haven’t allowed a lot of goals, so we’ve been in a defensive mindset. And that’s what happened the first 15 minutes,” Remington said. “My defensive mid was falling back too much. My center-mid was falling back too much and we weren’t getting any attack.”
Megan St. Cyr finally put Lewiston’s first shot on goal in the 23rd minute. Two minutes later, the Devils had the closest thing to a goal in the contest when officials ruled a shot did not completely cross the goal line before EL goalie Taylor Depot (seven saves) secured it.
The no-goal call sparked an argument from Remington, who drew a yellow card.
“Even from back here (at the Lewiston bench), it looked like it was in,” Remington said. “From this distance, I’m usually not going to start arguing too much, but when you start to get the reaction from everybody around it that it’s in and the players start yelling ‘Coach, it’s in..’ That doesn’t feel too good.”
“We thought it was a goal. We heard that some of the players on (Edward Little) were saying it was in,” Lewiston senior back Sasha Leclair said. “I mean, whatever. I was pretty sure it went in but I was at a weird angle. I think it was a little disappointing. I think we were a little upset about it but I wouldn’t say it deflated us.”
Lewiston continued to get the bulk of the chances for the rest of the first half, then put the pressure on EL immediately in the second half when a Kajha Gagnon blast from 40 yards went wide right.
EL’s Piper Norcross tested Lewiston goalie Kallie May (seven saves) a couple of times in the second half, including a deep bender that somehow eluded May’s left hand but had a little too much break on it to settle inside the right post with seven minutes left in regulation.
“We had opportunities in the first half that I thought we could have scored and didn’t capitalize on and in the second half, they had a couple of chances that they could have scored on,” Latuscha said. “I thought my girls played better in the second half. I thought we controlled play and momentum in the second half and maybe the first overtime.
The Eddies had both of the shots in the first overtime. Grace Fontaine’s bid sailed high over the goal. Kylie Bureau looked like she might tuck her shot from the top left corner of the box inside the upper-left corner of the net, but May made a leaping save to send the game to a second overtime.
A little over a minute into the second session, Lewiston’s Maddy Foster’s shot from the left wing avoided a leaping Depot, but couldn’t quite get it inside the far post.
Since the game ended in a tie, the Eddies got to keep the Maca Roddy Trophy, which is given annually to the winner of the second game between the rivals.
Roddy was a member of the Edward Little girls soccer program and 1995 ELHS graduate who died along with three classmates in an automobile crash later that year. The coaches selected Lewiston senior Dacia Bail and Edward Little sophomore Grace Fontaine as players “who exemplified Roddy’s hard work, dedication and emotion” during Tuesday’s game.