AUBURN — With five minutes to go in the Eastern Class A girls’ soccer final, whoops of excitement could be heard from the Mt. Ararat High bench. Edward Little High Coach Craig Latuscha paced furiously on the sideline, clapping and urging his Red Eddies.

“Dig deep, ladies,” Latuscha called out.

They did.

After tying the game with a penalty kick with 4:54 remaining, the host Red Eddies scored in overtime to beat Mt. Ararat 3-2 Wednesday afternoon.

Olivia Paione kicked a loose ball into the upper left corner 3:56 into overtime to give second-seeded Edward Little (13-1-3) the victory and a berth in the Class A state championship game Saturday.

The No. 5 Eagles finished 10-5-2.

Junior striker Torri Pelletier scored both goals for Mt. Ararat, the second giving the Eagles a 2-1 lead 12:49 into the second half.

Mt. Ararat was gunning for another upset, having shocked top-seeded Bangor 5-0 last Saturday. Despite the seeds, these teams were evenly matched, having tied during the season.

And at the end of regulation Wednesday, they were tied again.

“Good game, good game,” said Mt. Ararat Coach Sam Chard. “It could have gone either way.

“We had five minutes left to win the Eastern regional title. They got a PK and came out stronger in overtime.”

Down 2-1, Edward Little kept trying to mount pressure. But the Eagles’ defense – led by defender Lauren Labbay and midfielders Katie Labbay, Summer Gray and Christine Levesque – kept clearing away chances.

Finally, Edward Little’s Francesca-Beth Haines got free inside the box and looked ready to bury a shot before she was taken down. The referee’s call came immediately: penalty kick.

Hannah Smith was chosen to take the shot, even though she missed a penalty kick earlier in the playoffs.

“She worked on it for about an hour after practice the other day,” Latuscha said.

Smith scored inside the left post and the Red Eddies were even.

“That energized my team. We knew we could do it,” Latuscha said.

The Eagles were trying to overcome the disappointment.

“That took the wind out of our sails,” Chard said.

In overtime, Mt. Ararat had a couple of free kicks early, but it was the Red Eddies putting on the pressure. After an Edward Little shot was blocked, the ball dropped in front of Paione and she did not hesitate to score.

Mt. Ararat took a 1-0 lead in the first half when Chloe Beattie fed Pelletier at 16:25. Five minutes later, Haines scored on a rebound following a free kick from outside the box.

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