CAPE ELIZABETH—When the Yarmouth and Cape Elizabeth boys’ soccer teams clash again in early October, there will be a bit of unfinished business to tend to after Thursday night’s 1-1 tie ended before the teams could play overtime, or even complete 80 minutes of regulation.
With the score knotted between the two unbeaten teams and less than five minutes to play in the second half, the Hannaford Field lights shut off, leaving the turf field and stands completely black. Apparently a fuse blew in the snack shack, which is on the same circuit as the stadium lights. Rather than wait 30 minutes in chilly conditions for the lights to be booted back up, both coaches and the officials huddled and decided that for safety reasons, it would be best to call the game a tie.
The two Western Maine Conference frontrunners stayed undefeated with matching 5-0-1 records, shaking hands in the dark before heading their separate ways.
“It’s rough,” said Yarmouth senior Luke Pierce, who gave the Clippers a 1-0 lead with his first-half goal. “Toward the end of the game, it got so competitive with both teams playing really hard. It’s unfortunate to end like this, but it’s better than someone being up 1-0 and there being time left and the game being called. Still, it’s tough. We’re both 5-0, we both want the win, but I guess we can settle for this.”
For Cape Elizabeth, which got the equalizer from Andy Lynch with less than 15 minutes to go in the second half, the game capped an arduous eight-day stretch during which the Capers reeled off wins against Greely (1-0), Falmouth (2-0) and York (1-0, in overtime) before salvaging a tie with the Clippers.
“That was a big stretch to get through,” said Cape Elizabeth coach Ben Raymond. “Falmouth, Yarmouth, Greely, York, all right in a row. It feels like we’ve played five games in the last nine days. Everybody is pretty tired.”
With their strong start to the season, the Capers have established themselves as a contender in Class A, just as Yarmouth has done in Class B with big wins over Falmouth (1-0) and Greely (4-3) on its early-season resume.
A year ago, the teams tied 2-2 at Cape and Yarmouth won 2-1 at home. The rivalry has developed a reputation for being physical, evenly matched and low scoring, and it was clear from the get-go that this game would be no different.
Within the game’s first 90 seconds, Yarmouth had its first corner kick and Cape Elizabeth had a header by senior Tim Takach hit the crossbar. Then, just over two minutes in, Cape Elizabeth senior goalie Cam Brown took a blow to the head as he charged out to challenge Yarmouth senior Campbell Belisle-Haley. As Brown slid to grab the ball, he appeared to get a knee in the side of his head. He remained down and play was stopped for over 20 minutes as an ambulance was called. Brown was wheeled off on a stretcher wearing a neck brace. He gave a thumbs-up sign to the cheering crowd as he exited the field. After the game, Raymond said he got word that Brown suffered a mild concussion, but was able to return home.
In Brown’s absence, sophomore Brett Parker was summoned to the net, where he was tested early and often, showing poise in a pressure-packed situation. With 18:30 left in the first half, Parker stonewalled David Murphy on a shot in close to keep the game scoreless.
Forest Hewitt appeared to give the Capers the lead five minutes later when he put one in the net, but he was offsides and the goal was disallowed.
Pierce put the Clippers on top with 8:26 to go in the first half, heading in a long free kick from Kyle Groves. Groves sent the ball toward from the left side near midfield toward the far post, where Pierce was waiting to knock it in.
“The ball went back on me and I sort of drifted back and was there,” Pierce said. “There was some space there to finish. It was a beautiful ball by Kyle Groves.”
Parker came up big on multiple occasions in the second half to keep the deficit at a single goal. Seventeen minutes in, he charged out and slid to corral a bouncing ball in the box that Pierce was after in hot pursuit. With 15:30 to go, he leapt to make a save on a high, nicely-placed shot by junior Pau Carnero Melero. Parker also was solid against York, when he came in for Brown after Brown was hit in the knee.
“It’s the second game in a row where he’s had to come in and play for the majority of the game,” Raymond said. “He’s done a great job. It’s a tough spot to be in, but I think he’s done a tremendous job.”
Less than a minute after Parker’s save on Melero, Cape tied the game.
Yarmouth failed to clear the ball cleanly, leading to some mayhem in the box. With 14:52 left, Lynch, positioned off the right post, put in a ball from Takach.
“Patrick Kelley served a ball in, just banged it right in there and it deflected off Timmy Takach — I don’t know if he flicked it or just got hit with it — and it went right to Andy who just knocked it in,” Raymond said.
“They got a bit of a funny goal on a mis-clear, but even after a misplay, someone has to finish it,” Yarmouth coach Mike Hagerty said. “Good teams take advantage of your mistakes, and they’re a very good team. They did a great job of rallying around their backup goalie. They responded the way the should. They tightened up in the back. When we came at them, we got some good chances, but not nearly enough good chances. They’re backs did a good job of limiting our good chances.”
The game appeared to be headed for overtime until the lights went out. The teams will now have to wait until Round Two, which is scheduled for Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. in Yarmouth.
“When we’re at home, we’ll make sure the lights are working,” Pierce joked.
The Capers go to Poland Friday. The Clippers visit Fryeburg.
Yarmouth goalie Chris Knaub goes up high amongst a crowd to corral the ball.
Cape Elizabeth’s Blake Barritt gives chase as Yarmouth’s Ben Johnson dribbles the ball.
With the fog rolling in over Hannaford Field, Cape Elizabeth’s Alex Diaz leaps for a header against Yarmouth’s Peter Zeitz.
Yarmouth’s Jeff Stuart (left) and Cape Elizabeth’s’s Tim Takach chase after the ball during Thursday night’s Western Maine Conference showdown.
Yarmouth’s Luke Pierce (left) gets tangled with Cape Elizabeth’s Blake Barritt as he attempts to dribble the ball downfield. Both teams stayed unbeaten Thursday night after the lights went out late in regulation, forcing a 1-1 tie.
More photos below.