READFIELD — One game, for certain, but two winners emerged from Ricky Gibson Field of Dreams.
On the scoreboard, the Lewiston boys soccer team took a 2-0 victory of Maranacook, the Blue Devils’ second of the season over the Black Bears. Of the moral victory variety, though Maranacook head coach Don Beckwith isn’t much for those, the Black Bears fared quite well.
Already facing a tall task against the perennial Class A powerhouse Blue Devils, Maranacook played the final 60 minutes with only 10 players yet still managed to keep Lewiston from finding the back of the net after the halftime break — until Leandro Auger smashed one in at 80 minutes.
Romano Bassa slotted home the deciding goal in the 34th minute.
Khalid Hersi’s brilliant cross to change fields found Bassa on the right side of the box, and the attacker went off-shoulder on his defender to make a straight run to the goal.
Black Bear goalkeeper Brayden St. Pierre was outstanding, helped by a pair of posts in the second half and having turned away Bassa just a minute prior to his game-winning goal.
St. Pierre was helped by the work of his backline anchored by Tim Worster, particularly over the final 40 minutes.
Maranacook striker Eric Vining was sent off via a red card issued in the 20th minute. While the Black Bears were game for the remainder of the opening stanza without the full complement of 11 on the pitch, they were too compressed and started to tire in the second half.
Lewiston was much more composed in possession with the additional space in which to work, though the Blue Devils couldn’t add some welcome insurance until the final seconds before the final whistle. Instead the time on the ball added up and the Black Bears were afforded only a few journeys across the midfield line while trying to chase an equalizing goal.
They came close in the 72nd minute, when Worster’s free kick from distance found the noggin of Eljas Bergdahl inside the six-yard box. Bergdahl put his chance narrowly wide right of the woodwork in Maranacook’s only dangerous second-half opportunity.