READFIELD — There was no golden goal to be had at Ricky Gibson Field of Dreams on Thursday night. There were barely any golden scoring opportunities.

What there was, however, was exactly the type of intense, physical matchup nearly everybody expected as Winslow and Maranacook battled to a 0-0 draw in a matchup of two of the unbeatens in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference’s Class B boys soccer division.

“That’s a good early season test. It’s too bad we don’t have five or six more of these,” Maranacook coach Don Beckwith said. “We have to play better defensively, and I know we have to play better offensively. We’ll work on it.”

Winslow’s Spencer Miranda had the best chance of anybody on the pitch when he stepped up to take a penalty kick in the seventh minute of extra time, after Maranacook’s Hayden Elwell was called for a foul on a challenge against Black Raider Daylon Carpenter. Miranda’s shot from the spot sailed wide right.

“It was a great game, a well-played game,” Winslow coach Aaron Wolfe said. “I thought both teams played really good defense. There wasn’t much offense, and that’s what usually happens with good soccer teams.

“I’ll take the (draw). Obviously, I’d like to have gotten the win there, but those things happen.”

The game might not have featured any goals, but it featured just about everything else. Each team generated shots from inside the 18-yard boxes, and each team defended well enough to keep the other from doing what it wanted to do. Each team lost key players to injury on hard challenges — avoiding the dirty play that can sometimes creep into rivalry games. Striker Jake Warn was lost to a broken wrist in the first half for Winslow (4-0-1), while Nate Delmar was visibly shaken after a hard collision in extra time for Maranacook (3-0-1).

“We really had to batten down the hatches, and that’s what we did in the second half,” Winslow senior back Ben Smith said. “You’re never really satisfied with a tie, but in a hostile environment like this, when one of your best players go down, you’ll take that all day.”

Black Bear senior Sam Wilkinson had the best chance to score in the first half, when he dribbled left to right through the area and ripped a point-blank shot to the near post. Winslow goalkeeper Jake Lapierre (10 saves) stretched out for a diving stop to keep the clean sheet intact.

In the second half, Winslow did a much better job getting Miranda involved in the center of the midfield, and it opened things up for the Black Raiders.

In the 70th minute, Carpenter sent a through ball up the gut that sprung Isaac Lambrecht into the area, but Lambrecht’s close-range strike carried over the crossbar.

“In the first half, the ball was being played through the middle a lot,” Wolfe said. “In the second half, I think it was moved all around by both teams. That created more space (for Miranda). It’s just how the game played out.”

Aside from an uncontested header eight minutes earlier for Black Bear Ryan Roy, created from another Wilkinson slash through the midfield, that about wrapped up the series scoring opportunities.

“I think we need to move the ball wider and move as a team more,” Wilkinson said of the attack. “We all gave it our all the whole game. It’s not necessarily the result we wanted, but we can’t be mad about it because we worked all night.”

Maranacook might have won more of the 50-50 balls in the air, but Winslow had the better run of play when things were kept on the ground. In the end, both sides felt the draw was just.

“They got us rushing, and we haven’t had many teams that do that to us,” Beckwith said. “We don’t play enough of these teams, and they’d tell you the same thing, I think. I wish we’d play them more.”

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.