Edward Little’s Austin Brown and Mt. Blue’s Aiden DeCarolis battle for control of the ball during Thursday’s soccer game in Auburn. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

AUBURN — Mt. Blue and Edward Little got a quick test on finishing Thursday, the first day of the boys soccer season.

The Cougars aced the exam, scoring the game’s final three goals in a 3-1 victory.

Adam Loewen tied the game at 1-1 late in the first half, and from there the Cougars (1-0) took control.

“Him getting that goal late in the first like that, we were able to capture some momentum going into the half, get a little confidence,” Mt. Blue coach Joel Smith said. “And, I think going into the half we talked about how we had opportunities. … We felt like we could have been ahead like more than that going into the half.”

Edward Little’s Mohamed Dafe maneuvers the ball past Mt. Bue’s Aiden Decarlois during Thursday afternoon’s soccer game in Auburn. Mt Blue’s Adam Lowen watches the play from left. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Josh Smith put the Cougars ahead a little more than 10 minutes into the second half, finishing off a sequence of passes from Jack Murray to Jackson Joyce to Smith, who fired low at the top of the box and banged the shot off the left post and into the goal, past diving EL goalie Mack Sampson.

“That was helpful. … There was still a lot of time left,” Joel Smith said.

Murray made it a two-goal game just past the midway point of the second half, putting his 25-yards-out direct kick over both the wall and a leaping Sampson.

The Cougars outshot the Red Eddies 7-1 in the second half.

Edward Little (0-1) got off to a good start, scoring 5:06 into the season opener. A putback by Hassan Jabril after his initial corner kick boomeranged back made its way to the top of the box, where Noah Peck slid a pass under a scrum to Omar Omar, who made Mt. Blue goalie Xander Gurner miss, leaving Omar with a wide-open shot.

Edward Little’s Omar Omar looks to the goal as Mt. Blue’s Finn Towle defends during Thursday afternoon’s soccer game in Auburn. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

“It was great. We’ve been playing from behind often in the preseason, so to see the first one go in, that was a relief. Finally we’re not playing from behind,” EL coach Tim Mains said. “But we didn’t do enough to keep it, obviously, and so the joy was short-lived.”

The goal came moments after Peck made a goal-line defensive stop off a Cougars corner kick.

Gurney kept his team in the game in the first half, denying both Jack Thompson and Omar before Loewen tied the game.

“I thought we did have a good first start. We probably controlled the first 20-30 minutes,” Mains said. “They put one in with seven minutes left in the first half, and we did have a hard time kind of regaining control.”

Loewen’s goal came when he made a run on a through-ball, then was able to hold off a challenge from EL defender Jamaine Luizzo and poke a shot past a charging Sampson.

“I think Adam’s goal kind of righted the ship a little bit, and in the second half we went out and just kept battling,” Smith said.

Gurney made six saves in the win, while Sampson turned away seven for EL.

Edward Little’s Kegan Rodrigue looks to pass the ball past Mt. Blue’s Cooper Holmes during Thursday afternoon’s soccer game in Auburn. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

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