To say the Brewer High School girls soccer team has been stingy this season would be an understatement.
Entering Tuesday’s game in Farmington against 9-0 Mt. Blue High School, the Witches had strung together a streak of seven consecutive shutouts en route to their 7-1 record.
The Witches haven’t lost since a season-opening 2-0 setback to Mt. Ararat in Topsham.
That streak includes a 1-0 win over Bangor on Saturday.
It appears to be Brewer’s first win over Bangor since 1992, according to Brewer High School Athletic Director David Utterback,
“That felt really good,” said Brewer center midfielder Jordan Doak, one of eight senior starters.
“That was an awesome feat, for sure,” said first-year Brewer coach Phil Turmelle.
The Witches have one of the state’s premier goalkeepers in senior Bella Tanis, and the former all-conference selection is having an outstanding campaign.
But Tanis is quick to point out that she has had plenty of help in front of her.
“It has really been a team effort,” said Tanis.
Turmelle agreed. “It isn’t just about our goalkeeper and our back four. We have had all 11 girls working their socks off,” the coach said.
“When we have the ball, everyone is involved in the attack including Bella. When we don’t have the ball, everyone is a defender,” added Turmelle.
Turmelle said Tanis has not only been a stellar shot-stopper, she has also been an excellent leader and has “really stepped up to organize her defense. She is a positive communicator. She helps them out.”
Tanis, who is an aggressive goalkeeper that will routinely race off her line to clear balls away before they become scoring chances, has very good foot skills, which allow her teammates to pass the ball back to her without hesitation.
“She is like having an 11th field player out there,” said Doak.
Her back line is all seniors. Mya Edgecomb is the left back, Caroline Clark and Megan Youngs are the center backs, and the right back is Asianna West.
“They have all really jelled and worked together well,” said Turmelle.
Senior Lexi Furrow, who scored the game-winner against Bangor, is the defensive midfielder and is joined in the midfield by Doak and sophomore Kate Brydges.
“Lexi has blossomed this year,” said Turmelle. “She has done a great job shielding the back four. She does the [little things] that go unnoticed.”
The other senior starter is striker Charlee Laffey, and she is accompanied up front by a pair of sophomores: Devin Horr and Lauren Vanidestine.
Turmelle said he has received valuable contributions off the bench from sophomores Lauren Low, Allie Salinas and Violette Damon. Low is primarily a defender-midfielder while Salinas and Damon are forwards.
The scoring has been balanced, which makes Brewer a difficult team to defend.
Turmelle said at least nine players have scored a goal among the 21 the Witches have scored. They had six different goal scorers in a 6-0 win over Lewiston.
“Everyone can score,” said Doak. “One of our fullbacks, Mya Edgecomb, has two goals.”
Turmelle, who spent six seasons as the Brewer boys soccer JV coach and assistant varsity coach, said his team has been a joy to coach.
“It is such a fun group to be around. They really enjoy each other,” said Turmelle, who started for Brewer’s 2005 Class B state championship football team. “They make me laugh and keep me on my toes.”
The coach has made a positive impact, according to Doak and Tanis.
“He has been great. A lot of us played for him during rec soccer. We have a family atmosphere,” said Tanis.
“He has done a great job keeping us all together and composed during games,” said Doak. “He pushes us to be the best player we can can be.”
The Witches have a challenging schedule down the stretch.
In addition to Mt. Blue, among the remaining games on their schedule include contests against Class A North finalists Bangor and Brunswick on back-to-back days (Oct. 10-11) and a season-ender against Camden Hills, which won four consecutive state Class A titles between 2016-19 and is a contender again this season.
The Witches, 6-8-1 a year ago including a 3-2 preliminary round loss to Oxford Hills of South Paris in which they squandered a 2-0 lead, would like to make a deep playoff run this season.
Brewer has never won a regional soccer title.