OAKLAND — The Messalonskee boys soccer team is playing its best at the right time.

The Eagles matched speedy Edward Little step for step, and pulled out an important 2-0 victory in a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A game Thursday night.

“We’ve just had more possession (the last two game),” said Messalonskee coach Tom Sheridan, whose Eagles improved to 6-5-2. “We had guys ready to finish in the middle, that’s what you want. Defensively, we’re being really solid. We’re getting healthier, which is good this time of the year. Consistent goaltending, consistent play in the middle has been really strong.”

Messalonskee sophomore Rhys Bridges, left, tries to get away from Edward Little defender Wesley Clements during a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A game Thursday night in Oakland. Morning Sentinel photo by Rich Abrahamson

It was a back-and-forth battle, but Messalonskee held the slight edge in possession in the first half. It was finally able to take the lead with eight minutes to play when Cooper Barrett took a cross and was left one-on-one with Edward Little goalkeeper Mack Sampson.

“(I was thinking) Don’t choke,” Barrett said.

The poised sophomore did not, firing a shot past Sampson into the back corner of the net for the 1-0 lead.

Messalonskee was more dominant with the ball in the second half, and put away the game for good when Nathan Milne took a Justin Sardano pass in front of the net and sent a shot past Sampson for the 2-0 lead.

“We’ve been treating every game like a playoff game before playoffs,” Milne said. “We’re in the (playoff) mood.”

It’s been quite a turnaround for the Eagles, who beat Mt. Blue 3-0 on Tuesday after going 0-4-1 in its previous five games.

“We were able to finish again tonight,” Sheridan said. “The last couple of games — even the games we lost — we had a lot of good possession.”

Messalonskee will finish the regular season Oct. 22 vs. rival Cony.

The loss was a blow for the Red Eddies (5-6-2), who entered the match No. 10 in the Class A North Heal point standings. Only nine will advance to the playoffs. Edward Little still has a chance to enter the postseason with a win over rival Lewiston in the regular season finale Oct. 22.

“As important as this game was and for our playoff hopes, if we win Tuesday, we’re in,” Edward Little coach Tim Mains said. “We control our own destiny moving forward. As good of a team as Lewiston is, we definitely have a chance to beat them. We played them tough the first time. It’s on our home field, it’s senior night, we have a chance.”

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