TOPSHAM, Maine — The Brewer High School boys soccer team came into Saturday’s Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference matchup with highly regarded Mount Ararat a decided underdog.
However, someone forgot to tell the Witches.
Brewer battled the high-flying Eagles through thick and thin, hustling for every inch before finally succumbing, 1-0.
Mount Ararat, ranked fourth in Eastern Maine Class A, improved to 8-2-2 and goes to Hampden Academy next Saturday, while the No. 12 Witches fell to 2-9.
The Eagles held a huge territorial edge to the tune of a 14-1 shots margin and 8-1 in corner kicks. Numerous shots flew high and wide as Mount Ararat struggled to maintain its offensive flow.
And Brewer defenders Ryan Gideon, Dan Vilasuso, Gehrig White, Greg Warmuth and Marcus Downs bottled up the hosts and led to some frustrating forays.
“They just weren’t ready to play, which is typical,” said Mount Ararat coach Rick Renaud. “I’ll run the heck out of them … maybe they’ll respond to that.”
Mount Ararat came out on fire, led by Joe Thomas, Robbie Small, Griffin Stockford and Ty Veno and it took just 7:54 for the hosts to get on the board.
After a crossing volley from the left sideline, Small twirled and nailed a 20-yarder which froze Brewer goaltender Rece Baker.
With 13 minutes left, Small and Stockford also hooked up on a near miss.
Brewer’s defense bent on occasion and one near-goal was called back late in the half when Baker bobbled a save and had to lunge to his left to retrieve the errant ball in traffic.
Mount Ararat had six first-half shots on net to the Witches’ zero, but the lead stayed at one.
In the second half the Eagles got away from what has made them successful by clogging the middle and not looking to the wings.
Meanwhile, Brewer packed it in, looking for the one small opening.
A beautiful Small header was called back with four minutes left on a offsides call and the Witches actually carried play down the homestretch, getting off one good chance which was cleared.
“We dominated, but we didn’t play all that well and I think it was because it was early in the morning (10 a.m.),” said Mount Ararat’s Eric Knight. “And, I don’t think anybody came to play hard. It was like, ‘oh, it’s Brewer, an easy win,’ so we just laid back. They packed in the middle and we couldn’t get the endline at all. We thought we could go through everybody and then bring it outside, which didn’t end up happening and we lost it in the middle.
“We just didn’t come out to play as hard as we should’ve.”
Brewer is scheduled to host Hampden Academy on Tuesday.