BRUNSWICK – Anna Cowan headed home a Cassandra Murano feed early in the second half Tuesday as Brunswick edged Mt. Ararat 1-0 in an Eastern Class A schoolgirl soccer game.

The Dragons (10-1) had the edge in play for much of the opening half, but the only promising threat for either side came when Dakota Foster just missed catching up to a Cowan cross at the left post after 14 minutes.

“I thought we had the advantage in possession but they were beating us to most of the loose balls,” said Brunswick Coach Martyn Davison. “I told the girls at halftime they had to be more aggressive.”

Mt. Ararat goalkeeper Shauna Williams stopped bids by Becky Champagne and Paige Tetu in the first two minutes before Cowan scored at 4:20.

Caley Nicholson collected a loose ball in the left corner and sent it back to Murano near the sideline. She lofted a high pass to the right side of the box, where Cowan headed it sharply into the far left side from the 18.

“(Nicholson) did a great job getting the ball and passing it back,” said Murano, “and our strategy from there is to try to get it to (Cowan) or (Foster) because they’re great finishers.”

“I don’t usually head many balls,” said Cowan, “but that was the perfect opportunity. We kind of knew that with the way the defenses were playing, that whoever scored first would probably win.”

After Champagne headed a Cowan cross over the net, Mt. Ararat (8-3-1) mounted its best threat when Chelsea Crawford passed ahead to Haley Michaud just outside the box. Michaud carried through the defense but shot just wide from 12 yards with 18 minutes to go.

Williams came up with a point-blank save of a turnaround bullet from Cowan, and Nicole Ross worked through three defenders before trying to set up Hannah Hauser.

But goalkeeper Lauren Thacker came out to grab the ball first as time wound down.

“We knew they’d come out hard,” said Murano. “They always do. They work on pushing it up to their forwards, but we stayed strong and kept our composure.”

“We weren’t our normal passing selves,” said Davison, “but their defense had a lot to do with that. It was a battle out there, and sometimes you just have to keep fighting even when it’s not your best day. So it was a good win for us.”

“It was a good game,” said Mt. Ararat Coach Sam Chard. “We had a couple of real good opportunities, but we’ve had trouble scoring all year, and they have a couple of real good finishers.

“They’re a good team, very skilled, but we worked hard.”


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