BREWER, Maine — The Mt. Ararat High School girls soccer team from Topsham put on an impressive display of relentless pressure during Tuesday night’s Class A North game against Brewer at Doyle Field.
The Eagles had 38 shot attempts over the 80 minutes and received first-half goals from freshman left wing Katherine Theriault and junior forward Elena Willis and a pair of second-half goals from sophomore forward Julianna Allen to beat the Witches 4-0 on a sultry evening in Brewer.
Brewer sophomore goalie Gabby Chasse made a host of terrific saves among her 15 to keep her team in the game until Allen put the game away with her two goals.
Mt. Ararat spent most of the game in the attacking third as they pressed in waves and constantly forced Brewer into turnovers that created transition opportunities for them.
Junior Islah Godo helped Mt. Ararat control the midfield with her speed, skill and tenacity.
“Relentless was our word for the game,” said Allen. “We won all the 50-50 balls. We played really well as a team.”
“We wanted to press them and we did real well with that,” said Mt. Ararat coach Kevin Flaherty. “I was happy with our performance. We have a lot of girls who can strike the ball, and we got a lot of shots on goal.”
Chasse made nine saves by the midway mark of the first half, including several gems, before Theriault finally broke through with a shot that snaked its way along the grass inside the post to Theriault’s left from the top of the penalty area.
Theriault’s initial shot was blocked but the ball came back to her.
“My first shot had some power behind it. Then I tripped and fell but I got up just in time [to shoot again],” said Theriault, who admitted that she didn’t get much on her second shot.
“I was trying to squeeze it into a little space. I was kind of surprised it went in,” said Theriault who scored with 17:12 left in the half.
Willis expanded the lead with 2:49 remaining when she pounced on a loose ball on the left side and fired it into the far corner to Chasse’s left from 18 yards out.
“I just kicked it and hoped it went in,” said Willis.
Allen’s two goals were also from the left side into the far corner and they sandwiched Brewer’s best chance of the game when a long Kathleen Brydges pass sent the speedy Lauren Vanidestine in alone on Mt. Ararat goalie Calista Kinney with 23 minutes left in the game.
But Kinney came off her line and got her right hand on Vanidestine’s powerful shot.
Kinney finished with four saves on 12 shots.
Theriault assisted on Allen’s second goal.
Mt. Ararat outshot Brewer 24-1 in the first half.
“They completely took us out of our game,” said Brewer coach Phil Turmelle. “We didn’t play at all like we did last week (in a 1-0 loss to Camden Hills of Rockport) and we paid the price. We didn’t have any movement off the ball, we weren’t playing the ball to feet. We just played reaction soccer.”
He also credited Mt. Ararat for a strong performance.
“Hats off to them. They played really well. They hustled to be first to every 50-50 ball. They really worked hard,” said Turmelle.
Despite allowing four goals, he felt his Witch defense played soundly at times.
Brewer, now 0-2, will travel to Oakland to take on Messlaonskee on Thursday at 7 p.m.
Mt. Ararat, which opened with a 5-1 win over Lewiston, will travel to Skowhegan on Friday for a 3:30 p.m. contest.