(Fryeburg ME) These teams were evenly matched!
A 1-1 tie on September 20th set the stage for today’s boys soccer match between Fryeburg Academy and Freeport on gloomy Saturday afternoon.
The stakes were higher this time around (Class B Western Maine preliminary round) and a winner would be decided no matter how long it took.
And it took a while.
Finally, at 6:19 of the second overtime, senior Gabe Perry of Fryeburg Academy cashed a penalty kick, that he had drawn, to settle this one.
The #8 seeded Raiders (5-8-2) advance to the quarterfinals on Wednesday against #1 seed Yarmouth (11-0-3) at Yarmouth. Freeport lost to Yarmouth, 5-1, in September.
Both teams in today’s game had opportunities to score, although Fryeburg had the better chances. Joe Schrader, Ben Davis, and Tucker Hope had chances they’ll see in their sleep. Ben had a marvelous feed from Gabe Perry in the second half that was chipped just over the net.
#9 seed Freeport (4-8-3) had enough defense in the right place at the right time to frustrate the home team over and over again. If junior goalie Brendan Qualls wasn’t making the save, the core of defenders (starring Ryder Bennell) in front of him, were clearing dangerous intrusions out of harm’s way.
One of the key saves in the game was by Falcons defender Nick Nelsonwood in the second half. The skillful senior saw GK Brendan Qualls away from the net unable to control a rebound. A Raiders shot headed toward the net but Nick was there to clear the scoring chance out. Big save, for sure!
A key matchup in this game involved seniors Gabe Perry and Harry Stivers. Harry had the task of trying to contain the high-scoring Gabe. If Gabe had stayed in one area the job might have been easier but Gabe is all over the field……..and so was Harry.
There were numerous entanglements between the two of them and a good assortment of pushes and shoves along the way.
Gabe went down a couple of times with Harry in the area. On at least one occasion, Gabe looked for a call and I heard the referee mention what you do on a springboard in a swimming pool.
However, with less than seven minutes left in the second overtime, Gabe broke in from the left sidelines along the baseline and Harry stuck his leg in front of Gabe in an attempt to hit the ball and over went Gabe in the penalty area.
Penalty kicks are a guessing game for both players involved. There is no time for the goalie to react after the shot is taken. Freeport GK guessed that Gabe would shoot for the left side and dove in that direction. Gabe’s shot went into the wide-open right side at 6:19 of the second overtime.
While the entire Raiders team was rushing across the field to their student section, FA coach Bob Hodgman-Burns instead went to Freeport GK Brendan Qualls congratulating him and for good reason. Classy move, I thought.
I was impressed with the following Raiders: Jordan Kruguer, Ben Davis, Forrest Stearns, and Jared Schrader.
Freeport has five seniors on a roster of twenty players.
(All of the pictures above and below enlarge considerably if you click on them.)