HAMPDEN, Maine — The Edward Little High School girls soccer team from Auburn shocked previously undefeated Bangor 1-0 last Saturday and was looking to snap the Hampden Academy Broncos’ four-game winning streak on Friday night.
But senior central midfielder Naomi Shearer scored a pair of goals in the first 21 minutes and the Broncos withstood a second-half goal from Taylor Landry and some sustained pressure to earn a 2-1 victory.
It was Shearer’s first two-goal game of the season.
The Broncos are now 8-1-2 while the Eddies fell to 7-5.
Shearer stunned Edward Little by scoring just 3:47 into the game and she extended the lead with 19:35 remaining in the half as the Broncos controlled play for the first 30 minutes and won most of the 50-50 balls.
Hampden outshot EL 13-6 in the first half and the Eddies never severely tested HA goalie Sami Bowler, who made three comfortable saves.
EL began playing with more urgency late in the half and that carried over into the second half.
The Eddies were rewarded for their inspired play when Landry converted a Morgan Knowlton pass with 20:38 remaining.
But they couldn’t get the equalizer.
Shearer opened the scoring by taking a pass from Brianna Cota five yards outside the penalty area and maneuvering past a defender to run down the right side freely before finding the far corner with a powerful 16-yard shot past helpless goalkeeper Molly Murray.
“I had to get around one defender so I took one touch [to get around her] and took the shot right after that,” said Shearer. “I had time to see the spot that was open and set up my whole shot. I think I caught the goalkeeper off guard. She dove but it was a real hard shot and she couldn’t get there.”
Shearer’s second goal resulted from a multiple shot flurry.
Erin Jeter passed it to Shearer and her nifty little through ball sent Kerry Quigley in alone on Murray.
Murray made a terrific left-leg save but the rebound popped in the air and Shearer headed it off the crossbar before following her shot and ripping a 6-yard volley into the net.
Knowlton set up Landry’s goal by pouncing on a loose ball in the middle of the field and making an alert pass to Landry, whose well-placed 14-yarder beat Bowler to the goalie’s left.
“That was a great pass and I decided to shoot,” said Landry.
“The girls didn’t show up to play in the first 20 minutes and we fell behind 2-0,” said Eddies coach Craig Latuscha. “We didn’t mark [Shearer] and she killed us. We played a lot better in the second half. I was proud of our second half. But we ran out of time.”
“We didn’t stay with our markers because we came out slow off the bus. We don’t play like we can until the second half,” said Murray, who finished with seven saves on 18 shots in an impressive performance.
HA senior center backs Kristi Reichel and Kayla Gagner were exceptional as they used their quickness to continuously win balls and steer them out of danger.
“They saved us so many times. We would have been a mess without them,” said Shearer.
“They had some real fast forwards. But, luckily, we were able to keep up with them,” said Reichel.
Bowler wound up with four saves on 13 shots and came off her line smartly to collect several EL through balls.