READFIELD — The Maranacook boys soccer team was never seriously tested through the first six games of the season.

That changed Tuesday night as the Black Bears were pushed by a determined Oceanside team that twice tied the game. It took a well-coordinated effort between Zach Elwell and Nick Lacasse to score the game-winner midway through the second half and give Maranacook a 3-2 win.

At 7-0-0, Maranacook is the only unbeaten and untied team in the Class B division of the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference. The Mariners fall to 3-5-1, but the Black Bears didn’t take them lightly.

“This is indeed the toughest game we’ve had so far,” Elwell said. “We did expect it (because) Camden only beat these guys 2-1 in overtime.

The Black Bears controlled most of the game if not the scoreboard. Norwegian exchange student Erling Vingelsgaard gave them a 1-0 lead in the first half on a direct kick. The Mariners tied the game late in the half Eli Thorbjornson knocked home a deflected pass.

“I would have liked to come out of here with a win, but we competed tonight,” Oceanside coach Josh Mahar said. “Every time you come up here you expect a good game. (Maranacook) Coach (Don) Beckwith has a great team.”

Maranacook went up 2-1 on a goal from junior Alex Tooth, but the Mariners tied it two minutes later when German exchange student Lars Feurerlein drilled a direct kick into the upper right corner of the goal. The Black Bears put a number of quality shots on Mariners goalie Phillip Atwood (11 saves) the Oceanside sophomore had no answer for the game-winner as Elwell put a free kick from 30 yards out on the left side to the right post and Lacasse headed it in.

“We knew they marked really well,” Lacasse said. “At one point I just saw the crease coming through and I think Zach saw the same thing. We both saw it, I ran right through, perfect ball. It couldn’t have been better.”

The earlier Black Bear goals were nearly as impressive. Vingelsgaard’s kick came after a couple of fakes over the ball from Lacasse and Elwell and found the bottom left corner of the goal.

“The whole wall split apart and Erling just put it right through,” Elwell said. “He is fantastic at placement.”

Tooth’s goal was set up by Sam Nielsen who carried the ball from midfield down the left sideline, beating two defenders along the way. He crossed the ball back over the middle to Tooth who one-timed a shot past Atwood to the upper right corner.

Maranacook goalkeeper AJ Freeman had just one save as he was well protected by his defense. Beckwith rotated six subs onto the field throughout the game and it eventually paid off.

“I don’t think anyone has over four or five goals on this team,” Lacasse said. “There’s so much depth. It’s great.”

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

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