OAKLAND — Having McKenna Brodeur means Messalonskee is never out of a game. The Eagles and their opponents know that.

In Tuesday’s girls soccer home-opener against Edward Little, the Eagles learned having Brodeur’s explosive scoring ability sometimes won’t be enough if they are playing a game of catch-up.

Brodeur notched a hat trick, but the Red Eddies had an answer every time they needed one to survive with a 4-3 Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A win.

Piper Norcross notched two goals for EL, while Lauren Berube added a goal and an assist as the Eddies improved to 2-0-0. The Eagles, who beat Hampden Academy in their season opener, dropped to 1-1-0.

The Eagles tried to rally from a pair of two-goal deficits in the second half and were on the doorstep when Brodeur had a good bid at a fourth goal.

After beating EL goalie Taylor Depot with a tap-in to the lower right corner for her second goal, Brodeur went to the same spot with a lot more zip after collecting a feed from Edin Sisson. But Depot was ready and dove to her left to make the save that ultimately preserved the game with 5:40 remaining.

“We just tried to survive, to be quite honest. They’re a good team,” Edward Little coach Craig Latuscha said. “When you give up that many corner kicks, it’s tough. We were a little tired at the end. When you play a team like that that’s always pressing, it wears on you. My keeper made a big save on McKenna Brodeur and that was probably the play of the game.”

Three of the five Eagles’ corners came as they tried to erase the 4-3 deficit. Fern Calkins headed the first on goal but couldn’t quite get enough on it to get it past Depot (10 saves). Brodeur later had a direct kick from about 40 yards out that sailed over the upper right corner.

“Last year, they scored three goals on three corners,” Latuscha said. “Every time they got a corner today, they were pretty good corners and they were always in the area.”

Messalonskee trailed 43 seconds into the game as Norcross slid into a cross from Berube and beat Eagles goalie Sarah Van Der Karr (seven saves) to the near corner.

Brodeur tied it up a little less than eight minutes later with her first goal, but EL reclaimed the lead for good after Berube was fouled in the box and Olivia Jensen converted the subsequent penalty kick into the upper left corner.

“At the moment, we seem to be a tale of two halves. The second half, we seem to be stronger,” Messalonskee coach Penny Stansfield said. “They’re always a physical team, and for our freshmen, I think it was ‘Welcome to Class A varsity soccer.’ It’s still early in the season. I saw a lot of very good things from my girls today.”

Norcross made it a two-goal cushion off an assist from Grace Fontaine with 14:26 left in the half, a spread the Eddies maintained to halftime.

“The one thing I kept saying at halftime was ‘Remember last year,'” Latuscha said. “We were up 2-0 at halftime and they came back and beat us 3-2 on our home turf.”

Brodeur pulled the Eagles back within a goal 7:09 into the second half after dribbling in to the left and deking to the far corner before her quick kick beat her near side. But EL responded again eight minutes later as Grace Beaudet set up Berube on the insurance goal.

With 15:05 remaining, Brodeur scored her fifth of the season with a great individual effort to kick out of being triple teamed from 10 feet out. The Eagles controlled most of the rest of the half but couldn’t get the game-tying goal.

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @RAWmaterial33

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