AUBURN — Brewer head coach Benjamin Poland is pleased that the Witches are a stingy bunch with the ball.

Brewer demonstrated some fancy footwork and kept the ball just out of Mt. Blue’s reach, allowing the Witches to shake off the Cougars 4-2 in a Class A boys soccer game Tuesday at Caldwell Field.

“We put a lot emphasis on possession and trying to move the ball up around. If you keep possession of the ball, it is really hard for the other team to score. That is what we work on everyday,” Poland said.

The Witches always had something brewing and scored first on Joshua Schneider’s goal. Nearly 10 minutes later, junior Andrew Hodgins scored his first of two goals on an indirect kick.

Then, only a few minutes later, Braden Carr punched in a goal to give the Witches with an 3-0 lead.

“I like the way (the team) stuck together,” Poland said. “Conditions kind of got pretty slick out there on the field. I was pleased with their effort all around.”

But the Cougars didn’t knuckle under and stepped up their efforts before halftime. Senior Josh Smith dribbled through a contingent of Brewer defenders and scored an unassisted goal 32:26 into the first half.

Mt. Blue continued to attack in the second half, but the Witches continued working magic with their passing game.

“We made a couple of adjustments,” Mt. Blue coach Joel Smith said. “We established a little bit more of an offensive presence, which kind of gave us an opportunity to put those two (goals) in, but it was little bit too late. That is just the way it goes.

“They (Witches) are a good team. They had some good guys on the wing.”

Hodgkins came through with his second goal off an assist by Saunders midway through the second half.

“The (second goal) was just a bobbler,” Hodgins said. “It came through to me, took a touch and got past the keeper after he hit it. The first (goal) there was a miscommunication with defense and the goalie, and it was free kick and I put it in the right side.”

Added Poland: “Drew is a very, very talented skilled player with ball at his feet, and he has started to get confidence with the shot, which is what we need. He has done a really good job the last couple of games working on getting shots on frame and being in the right spot, too.”

Saunders finished with two assists. Carr and Charles Brydges also set up goals for the Witches (5-3-2).

Later in the half, Mt. Blue sophomore Levi Bogar scored on what might have been the most eye-opening play of the game, a 40-yard boot on a direct kick that sailed over the Brewer goalie’s head with 5:31 left in the game.

The loss drops the Cougars to 2-7 in what is a rebuilding season.

“I think I got eight starters that have never played high school soccer,” Smith said. “We have 21 guys on the team and there is no JVs, so it is thin. We are thin. The guys have been doing the best with what they have got, with small numbers.”


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