OAKLAND — In high school soccer, there is no such thing as “getting a result,” the common term in the professional game for settling for a tie when a team is either on the road or playing with a depleted roster. So, it stood to reason that both the Messalonskee and Brunswick boys soccer teams walked off the field after Thursday’s 1-1 draw feeling a little frustrated.

In the big picture, the Eagles have to be pleased with an unbeaten week (2-0-1) to open their Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A schedule, bolstered by senior James Kouletsis fourth goal of the season Thursday.

“Today, we played a lot of ‘boot ball,’ just kicking it into the box and hoping. We were getting pretty tired doing that,” Kouletsis said. “We have to stay composed, keep working hard and outwork the other team.”

On the other end of the spectrum, a young Brunswick team (0-1-2) is still searching for its first win of the campaign.

“We’re a work in progress,” Brunswick head coach Mark Roma said. “It’s frustrating right now, because we’d love to get off the schneid and get that first win. But I know I’ll go and look at the video and I’ll see some good stuff.”

Messalonskee really got out of the gate quickly on Thursday, with the majority of the possession and subsequent scoring chances in the early stages of the match. In the 10th minute, Kouletsis struck for a goal, collecting a broken play in front of the Brunswick net for a 1-0 lead.

Junior midfielder Ryan McCarthy’s initial cross from the left side was knocked down by Dragon goalkeeper Josh Dorr, but McCarthy followed up — and when Dorr mishandled it, McCarthy slid the ball into traffic in front of the empty goal for Kouletsis.

“I was just there at the right time,” Kouletsis said. “They all count the same.”

The Eagles followed up seven minutes later, when McCarthy’s long bender from the left side rang off the crossbar but stayed out.

At that point, Brunswick started finding its footing in the match and controlling more of the midfield. That work paid off in the form of Sagar Dahal’s goal in the 28th minute.

Emmet Taub knocked down a bad clear-out of the right corner from Messalonskee, and the ball ended up on Dahal’s foot. His near-sided rocket eluded Eagle goalkeeper Chase Warren (10 saves).

Neither team scored in the second half, an evenly-played 40 minutes in which neither side had a pronounced advantage. Each side spent more time than it would have liked chasing the ball.

“I think after they scored, after we misplayed a ball in the back and they scored, our kids started pressing,” Messalonskee coach Tom Sheridan said. “When you start pressing, time goes quicker and you’re not getting good opportunities. You’re just playing the ball right into the defense. People are taking some shots you normally don’t take. It’s a learning experience for us.”

Messalonskee generated chances late to try and avoid extra time but could not capitalize. In the 65th minute, a deflected clearance dropped to Kouletsis in the box, but his one-touch attempt sailed far too high on him. In the 78th minute, Dorr made a diving save on Dylan Labun’s redirected stinger to force the ball wide right.

“We had some nice close chances that we just didn’t get,” Sheridan said. “It’s where we need to be, though. Close games like this will make you a better team at the end of the year.”

The Eagles expect another tight affair Tuesday at Camden Hills,

“We’ll take (the tie),” Sheridan said. “We knew the first four games of the year would be really tough to start the year, and it’s kind of holding that way right now.”

Travis Barrett — 621-5648

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

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