READFIELD — Two teams settled plenty Thursday night without settling anything at all.

In a strong midseason test in which both sides were trying to find out exactly where they stand, the Maranacook and Erskine girls soccer teams played to a 1-1 draw in a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference game at Ricky Gibson Field of Dreams. The Eagles saw that they’re probably much better than their .500 record would indicate, while the Black Bears proved they can play with the league’s heavyweights.

“(Maranacook) held up the middle really well, and we didn’t take advantage of all our opportunities,” said Erskine head coach Mike Falla, whose team is now 3-2-3 after holding a 22-3 advantage in shots. “It’s been our M.O. this season, but we’ll get past this. Goals will start coming.”

The contest featured a number of intriguing match-ups across the pitch, none better than Erskine center back Summer Hotham having to deal with Maranacook freshman striker Emily Harper, already a double-digit goal scorer just seven games into the season.

Hotham not only kept Harper off the scoresheet, but she also limited Harper to very few dangerous touches on the ball.

“I had my wings do their job and if somehow (Harper) got past, I picked it right up,” said Hotham, a junior. “They did their job and I did mine.”

Maranacook remains unbeaten on the season at 4-0-3, but the Black Bears are winless over their last three. The best player on the pitch for the Class C side was junior goalkeeper Skyeler Webb, who made 10 saves, including one on an Alana York penalty kick in the 34th minute.

“I just assumed (York) was going to kick with their right foot again, so I took an extra step to that side,” Webb said. “I dove and went for it, and I got it.”

Webb said “again” because she’d been beaten by junior Morgan Presby on the game’s first spot kick in the 21st minute, one which knotted the score at 1-1 less than six minutes after an own goal conceded by Erskine opened the scoring for the night.

The junior Presby beat Webb along the ground to the left side.

“They’re really, really good,” Maranacook coach Travis Magnusson said. “We’ve seen them play and we’ve scouted them, and I think that’s the best they’ve played. We stayed with them. They had a lot of shot opportunities and Skyeler kept us in that game.”

The field seemed to clog at both ends as the minutes passed by, with the best scoring chances coming in the first 40 minutes. Defensively, things settled in for the course of the second half — save for a dangerous chance or two from either side — and finally simply ground to a halt in extra time.

“I thought our kids really, really played tough,” Magnusson said. “That’s what playoffs are about. I thought that was a good test for us.”

Webb made a spectacular diving stop on Erskine’s Haymanot Maynard in the 40th minute, and Harper nearly stole the points for Maranacook in the 76th minute when she picked the ball cleanly off Hotham’s feet and whistled a bid from the left side of the 18-yard box wide of the far post. That opportunity came as a counter to Maynard’s bender off the crossbar in the 66th minute, the second crossbar hit by the Eagles on the night.

“It could have been rough legs, or it could have been the physical aspect of it,” Hotham said of how the game changed after halftime. “It’s a soccer game.”

Credit had to go to Maranacook center backs Evelyn St. Germain and Kaylee Jones, who allowed the Eagles plenty of possession in the midfield before really locking down the center of the park with a high work rate that covered plenty of ground.

“Our defense worked really hard, and we did a good job backing each other up and winning 50-50 balls,” Webb said.

Maranacook got on the board in the 15th minute when Harper’s low driven cross intended for Lilly Voye was greeted with a mishit by Erskine back Alyssa Savage and deflected past goalkeeper Caitlin Labbe.

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

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