BREWER, Maine — The Brewer High School girls soccer team bent but didn’t break against undefeated Brunswick on Senior Night at Doyle Field in Brewer on Tuesday, parlaying superb goaltending from senior Bella Tanis and a gritty defensive performance into a 0-0 overtime tie.
The Dragons had the lion’s share of possession but Tanis made 11 saves on 26 shot attempts and her teammates worked tirelessly to clog up the penalty area and wound up blocking seven shot attempts.
Defending Class A North champ Brunswick generated a number of good chances but Tanis was only called upon to make two difficult saves, both off the Dragon’s leading scorer Alexis Morin.
Brewer is now 7-3-2 and had its winless streak extended to four games (0-2-2).
It was the Witches’ eighth shutout of the season and Tanis set the school record with the 14th of her career.
It was Brewer’s second game in as many nights against last year’s A North title foes. Bangor beat the Witches 2-1 on Monday night.
Brunswick had its six-game winning streak snapped and the Heal Points standings leader is now 10-0-2.
Even though Brunswick had a 26-7 edge in shot attempts, Brewer speedster Jordan Doak had the game’s best opportunity.
It came with 13 minutes left in regulation and she was sent in alone on Brunswick senior goalkeeper Sophia Morin courtesy of a terrific through ball from Lexi Furrow.
But Sophia Morin raced off her line, dove to her left and was able to get a healthy piece of the ball with her hands before Doak was able to get off a shot as she tried to maneuver around the goalkeeper.
Sophia Morin’s intervention forced the ball to roll several feet away from Doak and by the time the senior striker chased the ball down, she had a tight shooting angle and her shot was blocked by senior defender Ella Gustafson.
Sophia Morin finished with two saves.
Pivotal play: Sophomore Alexis Morin came inches away from winning it in overtime.
The 13-goal scorer was able to produce a powerful 7-yard header off a Molly Tefft corner kick only to have Tanis dive to her left and smother the ball just inches before it completely crossed the goal line.
“I thought I saw it go in,” Alexis Morin said. “But the referees said it didn’t.”
“It was pretty close. It couldn’t have been much closer,” Tanis said.
Tanis had robbed Alexis Morin earlier in the second half by fully stretching to her left to snare an over-the-head attempt.
“It was almost a bicycle kick,” Alexis Morin said.
“She is a great player. You won’t find a lot of high school players trying that shot. I wasn’t expecting it,” Tanis said.
Big takeaway: Both coaches were pleased with their teams’ performance.
“We played really well. We dominated the game,” said Brunswick coach Martyn Davison. “Brewer was dangerous on the counter attack with its speed. We missed a couple of good chances in the first half. We didn’t finish well tonight but part of that had to do with the slippery field conditions. And their goalie kept them in it.”
Brewer coach Phil Turmelle said his team was defensively sound.
“Now we just need to work on going forward,” Turmelle said.
Backs Caroline Clark, Mya Edgecomb and Asianna West did an effective job against the highly skilled duo of Alexis Morin and Tefft, who have combined for 25 goals.
Senior striker Kynli Van Leer was also a constant threat for the Dragons.
Tefft had a scintillating run in the first half as she sprinted down the left flank before impressively dribbling through a couple of Witches in a congested penalty area before getting off a shot that Tanis held against her chest.
Up next: Brunswick will return to the Bangor area on Thursday to play Hampden Academy beginning at 5:30 p.m. Brewer travels for a game at Messalonskee of Oakland the same night. Game time is at 7 p.m.