Boys Soccer: Cape slips past Freeport

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FREEPORT—The Capers sailed past Freeport on Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 3, zooming ahead to the 3-0 final on a quick pair of goals by Matt Concannon and John O’Connor early in the second half. That score is a bit deceptive, though, as both teams played hard, frequently thwarted one another and in general appeared quite evenly matched.

“We played pretty well,” said Cape head coach Ben Raymond. “Freeport’s a very good team. They do a good a job, and they make things difficult. They’re well organized, they have a good sense of what they’re trying to accomplish. They play hard the entire game; there’s no quit in them at all.”

“Our kids did a good job rising to that level,” Raymond said. 

“I’m pleased with how we played; if we keep playing like that, a lot of good things will happen,” said Freeport head coach Joe Heathco. “I’m psyched in terms of how we played; I’m not psyched about the result, obviously.”

The action seesawed up and down the field throughout the uphill half, with both teams generating chances. Cape capitalized first – Archie McEvoy beat Freeport keeper Atticus Patrick on a Ben Carroll feed from beyond the top of the penalty area – but not until late. 

The Falcons turned in a trio of solid opportunities before the buzzer, but couldn’t covert. Still, the game was hardly out of Freeport’s reach; 1-0 between well-matched opponents is almost as tight as it gets.

“In the very beginning, we were really amped up, going forward a hundred miles an hour,” Raymond said. “We didn’t possess an awful lot. Then we did possess, kind of lost the ball a little bit in the midfield, created some opportunities for [Freeport]. They’re dangerous players up top.”

“I thought we were dominant in the first half,” Heathco said. “Things maybe evened out a little bit in the second, but the score is just really kind of bizarre. They way we played. But it’s soccer – scoring is what it’s about; it’s not about possession and opportunities. Because we must’ve outshot them four- or five-to-one. So I just told the boys, I’m really pleased with we played; The energy we brought, what we were doing, the execution. You know, besides not scoring.”

Early in the latter half, the Falcons dropped their guard just a hair – a mistake Cape took advantage of not once, but twice. Matt Concannon and John O’Connor tallied points in close succession to ratchet the scoreboard forward all the way to 3-0. 

3-0 between well-matched opponents is a much different story than 1-0, of course, and the Capers did just what they needed to do – i.e., they never relaxed – to secure the victory.

“I think maybe a little bit of a let-down,” Heathco said, referring to his boys’ intensity level. “Some things went against us there in the second half. We came out, first 10 minutes, we were playing really well; a little let-down. It was very strange. We had numbers back, too, so it’s not question of us being caught out of position or anything. Maybe we can work on pressure cover a little bit, having that cover guy step.”

“We changed formation a little bit,” Raymond said, asked what adjustments the Capers made at halftime. “We moved a couple more guys into the midfield – we weren’t having a lot of success in the midfield in the first half. We possessed a little bit better in the second half, created some more opportunities there.”

“I think everybody played well,” Raymond said. “Alec Riggle in the midfield; Nick Aceto in the midfield as well, did a nice job; David Hare did an outstanding job in the back; and then Ben Carroll, Sam Dresser and Charlie Dall in the back as well – they all did a great job.”

Heathco similarly praised his team as a whole. “If you look all around – I think our backs did a nice job keeping their shape; that’s something we haven’t always been able to do. We’ve done it for stretches, but I thought we did it for the whole game today. Our center-mids did a nice job; we had a nice gameplan today, and I thought it was really effective. It really centered around our three center-mids holding, and two attacking – playing position strong. So I’m really pleased; we rotated four guys through there. All four of them did really well.”

Freeport slipped to 5-5 with the loss. The Falcons, currently ranked sixth in B South, travel to No. 10 Wells (4-4-1) on Thursday, Oct. 5. They host a trio of home games after that: No. 8 Greely (4-4-1) on the 12th, No. 16 Poland (0-10) on the 14th and No. 13 Fryeburg (3-7) on the 16th. Greely, of course, will be worth the most Heal Points; Freeport will be eager to win that bout, as doing so will help the Falcons retain their place in the standings as the postseason approaches. After all, No. 7 Leavitt (5-3-3) is nipping, numerically, at Freeport’s heels, and the Hornets have at least one big-points bout left on their own schedule, a matchup with No. 4 Lincoln Academy (7-2-2).

Cape Elizabeth, meanwhile, improved to 5-3-1. The fifth-place Capers have five games remaining, including a road contest at Greely on Thursday the 5th and one at Waynflete (sixth in C South at 7-1-1) on Tuesday the 10th, as well as a home tussle vs. Yarmouth (No. 1 at 10-0) the following Saturday. Whether the team can pick up enough extra Heal Points to overtake Lincoln in the standings remains to be seen.

Adam Birt can be reached at Follow him on Twitter: @CurrentSportsME 

Cape keeper Sean Agrodnia takes to the air in pursuit of a ball.

Falcons Evan McKittrick (20) and Jesse Bennell (10) sandwich Caper Matt Concannon.

Falcon Caleb Arsenault cuts toward a loose ball.

Freeport Joe Ashby settles a ball.

Cape defender Calvin Stoughton clashes with Freeport attacker Eriksen Shea.

Cape defender Sam Dresser tracks an incoming Falcon.