Every high school student-athlete wants to make a positive impact on their team’s success and Mckenna Brooks did that in a big way as the Oceanside freshman turned in a performance she will never forget — and it came in her first official varsity contest.

Brooks scored two second-half goals to lift the visiting Mariners (1-0) to a 2-0 season-opening victory over host Medomak Valley (0-1) Friday afternoon, Aug. 31.

What had been a defensive standoff for nearly 60 of the 80 minutes suddenly turned into a two-goal victory for the Mariners.

Brooks scored her first goal with 20:55 left in the second half when she popped the ball over the Panther goalie and inside the far post. The freshman added her second tally with 12:11 left on a beautiful pass from teammate Brittany Rytky.

Oceanside held a 7-5 edge in shots, while Medomak Valley had a 2-1 edge in corner kicks. Kennadi Grover made five saves in goal for the Mariners and Amanda Hendrickson-Belloguet five stops in net for the Panthers.

Brooks admitted she was nervous early in her first high school game and it took awhile for all the Mariners to get in gear. No stranger to converting scoring chances — she tallied about 25 goals during her junior high soccer career at Thomaston Grammar School and Oceanside Middle School — McKenna said she “just made some runs” on the ball and “knocked them in” when she got the chance.

“It feels great,” she said of scoring two goals in her first game to help her team win. “I was shocked, really. But it is the beginning of the year and it gets my confidence up.”

Brooks said she was happy to work so well with teammates to create and finish the scoring chances.

“This gets me even more ready for games this season,” she said.

Medomak Valley had a couple of strong chances to knot the score in the second half. Trailing 1-0, the Panthers watched Grover tip a dangerous ball over the crossbar with 14:03 left.

The Panthers’ final quality scoring chance came with four minutes left when Maria Ennamorati, standing inside the box in close range on Grover, booted the ball over the crossbar.

In a scary situation with 2:54 left, hard-charging Caitlin Raye of Oceanside and sliding Hendrickson-Belloguet collided inside the box as both vied for the ball with Hendrickson-Belloguet’s shoulder hitting Raye’s head. Both players were shaken up, as the Panther goalie stayed in the game.

Eventually, the Mariner walked off the field with assistance from coaches on both teams, but suffered a bloody nose and possibly a concussion.

Veteran Panther coach Larry Jensen called the contest a “well-played, hard-fought game.” And that it was.

Courier Publications sports staff can be reached by phone at 207-594-4401 or by email at sports@courierpublicationsllc.com.