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Freeport sophomore Sarah Gray gets past Waynflete senior LZ Olney during the Falcons’ 2-0 win Monday afternoon. The Falcons won their fifth game in a row.
More photos below.
FREEPORT—Never mind the fact that Waynflete’s girls’ soccer team is the defending Class C South champion or that Freeport hadn’t beaten the Flyers in a dozen years, at halftime of Monday afternoon’s midseason showdown at Hunter Road Fields, the Falcons’ coaching staff felt like they should have the lead.
And the coaches let Freeport’s players hear about it.
The Falcons had some good chances in the first 40 minutes, but had nothing to show for it and when the second half began, they paid heed to their coaches exhortations and went out and made history.
With just under 30 minutes to play, junior Abbi King got Freeport on the board and with 8:44 remaining, senior Becca Cameron produced an insurance goal with a gorgeous free kick.
The Falcons defense, as they did all day, stymied the Flyers from there and slammed the door on a 2-0 victory.
Freeport beat Waynflete for the first time since 2005, won its fifth straight game, improved to 6-2 and dropped the Flyers to 3-3-1 in the process.
“We haven’t had Monday games and that’s a tough mental switch,” said Falcons coach Elayna Girardin. “We had to remind the girls this was a game. They were like a cat playing with a mouse. We were happily playing a game of possession, passing the ball. Once we scored, our confidence increased.”
Both teams have shown promise this fall and both are looking to finish the regular season strong.
Waynflete welcomed back Jon Shardlow as coach this fall. The one-time star player for the boys’ squad coached the girls to a Class D title in 2004 and a Class C crown in 2008 during a previous five-year stint and inherited a team which got to the state final a year ago before losing to Orono.
The Flyers started with a 2-1 home loss to St. Dom’s. After downing visiting Old Orchard Beach (3-1) and Wells (1-0), Waynflete settled for a 2-2 draw at Traip Academy and was beaten at home by Sacopee Valley (7-2). Friday, the Flyers got back on track with a 9-0 home win over North Yarmouth Academy.
Freeport, which won eight games and reached the quarterfinals a year ago, kicked off the 2017 season with its first win over Cape Elizabeth this century, 1-0. After losing at Greely in a playoff rematch (3-1) and at defending Class B champion Yarmouth (5-0), the Falcons won at Fryeburg Academy (8-1), at home over Gray-New Gloucester (2-0), at Lake Region (2-0) and at Poland (5-0).
Last year, the teams settled for a scoreless draw in Portland.
Monday, a summerlike-afternoon (78-degrees), Waynflete looked for another win at Freeport’s expense, but the Falcons beat the Flyers for the first time since a 4-1 home victory back on Sept. 10, 2005 and in the process, extended their longest win streak this century (in 2001 Freeport had a seven-game unbeaten streak, but a tie was involved in the fourth contest).
Freeport’s first chance came in the sixth minute, when sophomore Catriona Gould stole the ball and had a look, but she shot wide.
In the 10th minute, Waynflete junior Emily Boedeker broke up a Gould rush.
After a Falcons corner kick came to Cameron, whose shot was blocked, the Flyers got their first chance midway through the first half, but a long shot from freshman Kilee Sherry was saved.
Freeport sophomore Tara Migliaccio then shot just wide and a long shot by senior Allie Goodman was saved by Waynflete senior goalkeeper Ya Stockford.
After a long shot by Flyers senior Lydia Giguere was saved by Falcons freshman goalkeeper Carly Intraversato, Cameron shot wide, Gould’s left-footed shot was turned aside by Stockford, Stockford broke up a rush by senior Jessie Driscoll, Stockford saved a shot by sophomore Sarah Gray and a chip from the side off the foot of Gould was saved by Stockford, keeping the game scoreless at the break.
During the 10-minute halftime, Freeport’s coaching staff got its point across.
“Coach Dave (Intraversato) was frustrated at halftime,” Cameron said. “He said, ‘You guys aren’t playing with heart. If they win this game, it’s because they have passion going to ball. If you want to win, win.’ We deserved it. It was right thing to say. We haven’t played teams lately who play through their mids and they have really strong mids. We had to adapt to that. That’s where our heads were at going into the second half.”
“Coach Aubrey (Pennell) reminded us that the eighth grade girls were here and that they look up to us,” said King. “That was a big inspiration to me.”
“It’s tough because we went from a game on Saturday to today,” Girardin added. “They didn’t feel like it was a game because usually we go from a game to a practice.”
Freeport picked right up where it left off to start the second half, as Driscoll had a shot bobbled by Stockford then cleared and a shot from senior Taylor Rinaldi off a corner kick was saved by the goalie.
Finally, with 29:59 left in regulation, the Falcons got a fortuitous bounce and pounced.
The goal sequence was started by Gould, who got some room and sent the ball on cage, but it deflected off a defender. The ball then came to King, who one-timed it with her left foot and sent it past Stockford a 1-0 lead.
“I think we really stepped it up after halftime,” King said. “That halftime talk was inspiring. I was kind of in the right place at the right time at the top of the 18. I just tried to finesse it in the goal.”
“It was kind of a lucky goal, but it’s what we needed,” Cameron said. “We started taking off from there.”
“You have to score when it counts and she did,” Girardin added.
Waynflete tried to counter, as Sherry had a rush that Intraversato kicked away at the last second, the Flyers earned a corner kick on which sophomore Clara Sandberg shot wide and Sherry had a low shot saved.
Freeport, not satisfied to sit on its lead, then returned to the attack and was eventually rewarded.
Rinaldi had a long shot saved, then, with 20:55 to play, Rinaldi fired from the right and placed a shot nearly in a perfect spot, but it hit the far post.
After Flyers senior Ava Farrar missed wide on a rush, Driscoll just missed, Gray had a shot saved, Gould missed just wide, Gould was robbed by Stockford on a kick save and Rinaldi had a bid denied.
Then, in the 72nd minute, the Falcons earned a free kick and with 8:44 on the clock, from 30-yards out, Cameron struck it perfectly and the rising shot glanced off the leaping Stockford’s fingertips into the net for a 2-0 advantage.
“I was really excited to take it,” Cameron said. “Sometimes my free kicks are wibbly-wobbly, but I hit it with all I could. I love when I watch them and see it go in.”
“Becca wanted it,” Girardin said. “It’s great to see a girl step up like that. She was focused on that goal. There are too many games when momentum shifts in a one-goal game and it’s hard to get it back, so we had to keep pressing. They have players who almost got through our defense, but luckily we stopped them.”
Freeport almost added a third goal late, but Rinaldi missed just high and junior Bailey Davis hit the post.
The Falcons then ran out the clock and for the first time since this year’s seniors were in preschool and this year’s freshman were in diapers, celebrated a victory over Waynflete, 2-0.
“It’s always a close game with them,” Girardin said. “They’ve knocked us out of playoff contention in the past. They’re a very strong Class C program and you can’t count them out. I’m happy we came out on the winning side.”
Freeport had a 12-3 advantage in shots on frame, enjoyed a 5-1 edge in corner kicks and got three saves from Carly Intraversato.
The Flyers got 10 saves from Stockford, but couldn’t generate offense.
“We executed our game plan exactly the way we wanted to do today for 50 minutes,” Shardlow said. “Their goals came on a scramble in the box and a set piece is a set piece. You have to give them credit. We didn’t beat ourselves today and I’m very proud of our team. That was an honest result.”
Waynflete is idle until Tuesday of next week when it goes to St. Dom’s. The Flyers then go to Old Orchard Beach, Sacopee Valley and Class B South contender Cape Elizabeth. After hosting Traip Academy, the Flyers visit Greely and close at home versus York.
“If we can take what we learned from this match and apply it to next week, we have a chance to reshuffle the standings,” Shardlow said. “At this point of the season, we have a clear understanding of what we have available, but unfortunately, we’ve had some key injuries. Our goal is to be where we need to be in October in Class C playoff format. The Class B schools are great. They give us a chance to evaluate ourselves. We want to be healthy for playoffs.”
Freeport has the daunting task of hosting undefeated Yarmouth Friday, but the Falcons will hope that playing on grass at home will slow the potent Clippers down.
“We’re definitely going to go into it playing hard, thinking we can win,” said King.
“We’re really excited to play Yarmouth on grass, where maybe we can catch them off-guard,” Cameron said. “We need to keep our momentum going.”
“Yarmouth is so fast and accurate in their passing,” Girardin added. “Hopefully we’ll slow them down on grass. Their field is huge and our field will be smaller. We’ll see what happens. We’ll be out to perform.”
Freeport then plays at Wells and York and at home against Lake Region, Poland and Fryeburg Academy to finish up the regular season.
“We’ve had a great season,” Girardin said. “It’s a good group to work with. I can do things with them than I haven’t been able to do with other teams. It is stressful though because this is the strongest team I’ve ever had. As coaches, we want the girls to reach their potential. It’s a great problem to have.”
Freeport senior Becca Cameron makes a move on a Waynflete defender. Cameron scored the Falcons’ second goal.
Freeport sophomore Catriona Gould plays the ball.
@ Waynflete 0 Freeport 0 (tie)
Waynflete 2 @ Freeport 1 (OT)
Waynflete 2 @ Freeport 0
@ Waynflete 2 Freeport 1
Waynflete 4 @ Freeport 1
@ Waynflete 8 Freeport 0
Waynflete 3 @ Freeport 0
@ Waynflete 5 Freeport 2
@ Freeport 4 Waynflete 1
Waynflete 4 @ Freeport 0
@ Freeport 1 Waynflete 0