BRUNSWICK GIRLS SOCCER player Caley Nicholson (17) battles with Edward Little’s Emily Schario (1), with Olivia Paione (20) close by during a KVAC contest at Brunswick on Tuesday. The Dragons won 2-1.

BRUNSWICK GIRLS SOCCER player Caley Nicholson (17) battles with Edward Little’s Emily Schario (1), with Olivia Paione (20) close by during a KVAC contest at Brunswick on Tuesday. The Dragons won 2-1.

BRUNSWICK

Brunswick forward Anna Cowan has fought lower leg injuries all year, but gutted it out and tried to lead her soccer team.

Times have been tough, as the Dragons entered Tuesday’s Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference girls high school contest against 3-2 Edward Little with a 2-3 record and just eight goals scored.

Against EL, Cowan’s first five opportunities sailed high of the target, but No. 6 was the one that mattered most as the Dragons picked up a key 2-1 victory, leaving both teams with 3-3 marks.

For Cowan, tendinitis and shin splints have been the main culprits, keeping the senior captain from gaining the balance that she needs for an accurate shot.

“I was frustrated, but I knew that I had to keep my cool,” said Cowan, whose team visits Skowhegan on Friday. “I was able to get some shots, but it is tough sometimes for me to keep the ball from going over the net.”

The schedule-makers haven’t exactly been kind to the Dragons, who have faced Hampden Academy, rival Mt. Ararat and Bangor in the early going. But, Cowan feels those difficult early contests will benefit her squad in the long run.

“At times, nothing offensively has worked for us, but we have seen the tough teams so far, and those games have shown us what we need to do better,” said Cowan. “I feel that we had trouble focusing in our earlier practices, but after the tough start, the focus has improved along with our play. I like where we are.”

“We passed the ball well, but we are not putting the ball into the net,” said Brunswick coach Martyn Davison. “We need to finish better, knowing that this game, if they score early, it maybe is a different game.”

Edward Little certainly had its chances despite being outshot 27-9, including 18-5 in the second half. With two minutes remaining until halftime, Red Eddies forward Taylor Landry, a standout scorer in girls ice hockey, found herself all alone in front of the net after stealing the ball from Brunswick goaltender Haley Murano in a scoreless first half.

On a cool, windy Tuesday afternoon, the Red Eddies had the break they were looking for, with nothing but a wide open net in front of the EL sniper. But, the hard turf caused Landry to lose possession momentarily, and Dragons defender Lyse Henshaw sent the ball into orbit and out of danger.

It was a good break for the hosts, and in the second half, the Dragons used a goal each from Cowan and Lena Martin to seize a 2-0 lead before a late tally by Red Eddies forward Emily Jacques with 3:52 remaining brought the visitors to within a goal.

Strong wind

With a strong wind at their backs in the opening frame, the Dragons struggled with their passing, with EL goaltender Molly Murray (16 saves) ranging well away from her goal to either grab the ball or use her right leg to send the ball out of danger.

“I don’t know why they were doing that, and I don’t coach that, but I know they were aware of the wind,” said Davison of his team’s first-half struggles.

Brunswick’s best chance came on a shot by Martin, whose high chip solidly struck the cross bar to keep the contest scoreless.

Throughout the game, EL coach Craig Latuscha reminded his team to put two, and even three defenders on the dangerous Cowan. Still, she made a difference in the game, scoring the game’s first goal with 14:13 remaining. She gathered a pass from Kassidy Scarponi, cut left and shot back to her right, catching Murray going the other way.

“She (Cowan) made a great play, but we had our chances, especially in the first half,” said Latuscha. “We score early, you never know. It might very well have changed the complexity of the game.”

“It is easier when we are going into the wind,” said Cowan. “Nothing was working for us, but when we scored it settled us down.”

Nine minutes later, a corner kick by Scarponi was gathered by Martin, who chipped a shot into the cage to give the Dragons a 2-0 lead with 5:44 remaining.

“As soon as we scored that first goal, we looked like a different team,” said Davison. “Confidence for this team makes a huge difference, especially after the tough start that we have had.”

The Red Eddies refused to go away. Calli Murray sent a pass to Jacques, who headed the ball past Murano (four saves).

Brunswick, led by defenders Henshaw, Aidan Sachs, Emily Cowan and Madeline Cowan, along with midfielders Caley Nicholson and Julia Champagne, didn’t allow the Red Eddies another look the rest of the way in securing the 2-1 win.

Brunswick held a 4-2 edge in corner kicks.

Brunswick 2, Edward Little 1

At Brunswick High School
Edward Little — 0 1 — 1
Brunswick — 0 2 — 2
Goals — (EL) Emily Jacques; (B) Anna
Cowan, Lena Martin.
Assists — (EL) Calli Murray; (B) Kassidy
Scarponi 2.
Shots — Brunswick 27, Edward Little 9.
Saves — (EL) Molly Murray 16; (B) Haley
Murano 4.
Corner kicks — Brunswick 4, Edward Little 2.
Records — Brunswick 3-3, Edward Little
3-3.
Up next for Brunswick — Friday at
Skowhegan, 3:30 p.m.


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