Brunswick’s David Nzuzi dribbles around Lewiston’s Abdirahman Daud during Tuesday’s Class A North Final. Eric Maxim / The Times Record

BATH — For the third straight year, the Lewiston Blue Devils will be representing the north in the State Class A Championship in boys high school soccer on Saturday after the Blue Devils defeated Brunswick, 3-1, on Wednesday at McMann Field.

Suab Nur scored two goals and Bilal Hersi added a goal and an assist as Lewiston (15-1-1) will face Class A South champ Falmouth (14-2-1), 2-1 winners over Gorham, on Saturday at Hampden Academy, scheduled for 3 p.m. Brunswick ended the season 14-2-1, its only two losses to the hands of the Blue Devils.

“These guys played their hearts out. We wanted to come out and take the opportunities we got,” Brunswick coach Mark Roma said. “That was the real difference tonight, we had opportunities, but we couldn’t take care of them.”

Playing in a steady rain to start the game, neither team took control, playing a lot of back and forth soccer. Nur struck at the 11:48 mark after the senior took a a perfectly placed cross from Hersi to tuck it in the net past Brunswick keeper Brady Laforge, playing for the injured Jack McDiarmid, for the game’s first score.

“That first goal set the tone. We played them before and once you give up that first goal, you play on your heels a little bit,” Roma said.

Following a 4-2 loss to Lewiston earlier in the season, Brunswick contained the Blue Devils offense in the first half with the solid defense of Coenradt Taylor, Luke Vazdauskas and Milan VanLeer, following a 1-0 double-overtime win over Camden Hills three days earlier.

Brunswick’s David Nzuzi looks up the field during the second half of Tuesday’s Class A North Final against Lewiston. Eric Maxim / The Times Record

“Our defense played solid again today,” Roma said. “We knew who their skill players were and we wanted to make sure they didn’t beat us.”

“We knew it was going to be a challenge coming in, but we knew we had a chance,” Brunswick senior Matty Laforge said. “Cover their strong kids and hope that the outcome would come out positive.”

The score remained 1-0 with Lewiston putting three shots on goal to Brunswick’s two after 40 minutes of play. The Blue Devils took the only corner kick of the half.

Final 40

Hersi, who scored the game-winner in overtime for Lewiston in the semifinal win against Messalonskee, tallied the all important second goal, bending a kick around a wall of Brunswick players from 28-yards out just over 10 minutes into the frame.

“I wouldn’t call it deflating, but we knew we had to score goals whether it be one, two or three. At no point did I ever feel we were out of it,” Roma said after falling behind 2-0.

With 7:21 on the clock, Suab registered his second score after dribbling through traffic in the box and finding the far corner for a 3-0 Lewiston lead.

Despite being down three goals, the Dragons continued to push, following their senior leadership to stay in the game.

“We’ve had a lot of heart all year, so we knew this wasn’t going to be any different,” Matty Laforge said.

“We knew we were a good team coming in, we put up a fight and our hearts on the line,” added senior Lane Foushee.

Roma acknowledged the importance of all of his seniors that include — McDiarmid, Matty Laforge, Taylor, Hakon Lentz, Josh Musica, Alec Hess, Connor Ney, Ben Guindon and Everett Horch.

“When I said we were never out of the game, it was because of that senior leadership,” he said. “They believe that we’re never out of a game and it only takes a second to score a goal.”

With four second-half corner kicks and six shots on goal, the Brunswick offense displayed more offensive play in the final 10 minutes, and with 2:25 showing on the clock, Alfonso Miguel grabbed a loose ball in front of the net and beat Lewiston keeper Yahya Heri for the score.

But despite the efforts, the Dragons fell short, with the Blue Devils walking away with the 3-1 victory.

“We never played with any panic, we played with urgency. That was one of our catch phrases all year, ‘we play with urgency but not panic,'” a proud Roma said.

Brunswick’s Lane Foushee kicks the ball towards the net late in the second half of Tuesday’s Class A North semifinal game against Lewiston.  Eric Maxim / The Times Record

Heri made five second-half saves to finish with seven for the contest, while freshman Brady Laforge, who had not played a full game all season at the varsity level, turned away six shots in the final half to end the game with eight stops, earning praise from his coaches, teammates and brothers.

“So proud of that kid, he did a fantastic job today,” Roma said. “We didn’t really talk about it because I didn’t feel like we had to. He’s trained his butt off all year for this, and I felt confident that he would make the saves he needed to and he did.”

“He was awesome, to be thrown into that position after really only one full game all season,it’s crazy. He did a great job for us,” Foushee said.

And from his brother, “He did very well. He stopped everything he could, their goals were unstoppable shots,” Matty said.

While the Dragons are graduating nine seniors off the roster, the soccer program is continually growing and improving, something Roma wants to get right back on the field for as soon as he can.

“The future is bright for Brunswick soccer, I wish we could go back out there tomorrow, that’s the saddest part,” he said.

 

 

 

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