Freeport edges Fryeburg in historic OT thriller

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Freeport’s field hockey team mobs senior Alexa Koenig after the standout scored in overtime to beat Fryeburg Academy, 1-0, in Saturday’s Class B South semifinal. The Falcons advanced to face defending regional champion York in the Class B South Final Tuesday afternoon in Biddeford.

Bob Conn / Times Record photos.

More photos below.

FRYEBURG—In two meetings with Fryeburg Academy this season, the Freeport High School field hockey team allowed two one-goal leads to evaporate, resulting in a loss and a tie.

Saturday morning, in a Class B South semifinal, third-seeded Freeport failed to grab a regulation advantage this time around.

Instead, the Falcons played the Raiders to a scoreless deadlock through 60 minutes, then won it when senior standout Alexa Koenig one-timed a perfect pass from classmate Kerry Lefebvre with 3:34 remaining in the first overtime for a 1-0 victory.

Freeport (13-2-1) heads to Waterhouse Field in Biddeford Tuesday afternoon, where the Falcons will play in their first Class B regional final, facing top-seeded York (12-3-1), the defending Class B South champion, which downed No. 4 Lake Region in the other semifinal.

The regional final is Freeport’s first since the 2000 season, when the Falcons got to the Class C state final only to lose to Dexter, 2-1.

In a game where the momentum seemed to tilt back and forth, the Falcons found a way.

“I felt like we were prepared and we practice so many overtimes, so many corners, so many 7-v-7s, that there was no panic,” said Freeport coach Marcia Wood. “Overtime, it is how fast you’re going to run and just push your way through. When Kerry got that breakaway and Alexa moved to the spot, I just knew it. They kept their composure.”

“That was insane, I am in shock right now,” Koenig said, after being mobbed by her teammates. “That overtime was exhausting, but it was our time to win. It is so cool to be going to a regional final. It feels unreal right now.”

For Fryeburg Academy and longtime coach Dede Frost, regulation was a tale of just-misses for her Raiders, who attempted 15 shots to Freeport’s six but failed to slip a shot behind goaltender Katelyn Rouleau (six saves) and the Falcons defense.

“It has been an amazing run this season,” said Frost, after her Raiders finished the season at 11-3-2. “These kids came from a very inexperienced team, just three seniors, the smallest team that I have had in my coaching career. They turned into a cohesive team, just an amazing young group of girls to work with.”

The second-seeded Raiders pressed the Freeport defense throughout the first 30 minutes. Abigail Hewes, Tina LeBlanc, Camelia Ghadfa and Kaylee Emery watched their chances to score either stopped or roll inches wide of the cage.

Fryeburg Academy’s best chance came on a bouncing shot that looked destined for the back of the goal, only to have Falcons defender Rachel Harmon swat the ball out of danger.

Fryeburg goaltender Bailey Richardson easily stopped three first-half shots as the teams headed to the intermission scoreless.

The first half of the second frame was all Raiders, with Harmon saving a goal for a second time by diving in front of the goal line and deflecting a shot by Ryan Duffy out of danger.

Freeport took over, pinning Fryeburg in its defensive zone for nearly 10 minutes. Though the pressure failed to result in a goal, the Falcons seemed to have more jump as the game shifted into overtime.

“The last time we were here, they took us into overtime with a minute-30 left,” Wood said. “They pressured a ton  and we pressured a ton. It was a matter of time until someone put the ball in.”

Frost  was concerned that the chances her team failed to score on through regulation might come back to haunt them.

“During the game, we had dominated the game statistically and you have to take advantage of those chances,” Frost said. “I think we were confident in overtime, but I think we were feeling that we had so many great opportunities to score that Freeport could get the ball down the field. It was going to be different.”

For four minutes, the teams mostly played between the 25-yard lines. That is until Freeport transitioned.

Lefebvre sprinted past a defender and cut toward Richardson’s goal on a 2-on-1 break with Koenig. Richardson forced Lefebvre’s hand, but the senior fed her classmate for a one-timer as Richardson tried in vain to move post to post.

The Falcons, led by Wood, charged from their bench to mob Koenig.

“Kerry did the work,” Koenig said. “She will not stop riding no matter what. It was a great pass and I was able to get the ball past their goalie. Going into overtime, we were ready.”

Now comes troublesome York, which has owned Freeport over the last six years. The Wildcats are 8-0 in that span against the Falcons and have yet to surrender a goal in the series, including in a 2-0 win Sept. 20 in York.

Still, Wood is confident.

“We scrimmaged Biddeford, so we have had a taste of the field,” the Freeport coach said. “I told (the girls) that if they were able to get through this game, no matter what on Tuesday they were going to get a plaque. They said, ‘We love plaques. We love medals.’ That was the motivation.

“Now, we will be on turf. No more grass games. We can play our game.”

Freeport sophomore Amelia Farrin handles the ball while under pressure.

Freeport senior Brooke Toothaker fights for possession along the sideline.

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