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Waynflete rallies to beat Freeport in OT

Sports

Waynflete rallies to beat Freeport in OT

FREEPORT—The Waynflete girls' soccer team knows that scoring goals will be a challenge this season and did the Flyers ever find themselves behind the eight ball Saturday.

Trailing host Freeport, 2-0, with less than 18 minutes remaining, Waynflete needed to discover some offense and fast.

Consider it a challenge met.

Twice in the late going, senior Isabel Agnew scored goals out of scrums to force overtime and there, freshman Arianna Giguere was in the right place at the right time to bang home a rebound and give the Flyers a 3-2 win over the Falcons.

Waynflete improved to 3-0-1 on the year, dropping Freeport to 3-2.

"I think we all had the desire to come back and score," said Giguere. "I know personally, I just got more motivated as the game went on. The first goal made our spirits skyrocket. I felt like we had the momentum in overtime."

Not over till it's over

Waynflete has long been a girls' soccer power, while Freeport is on its way up.

The Flyers, who lost to St. Dom's in last year's Western Class C Final, opened the 2012 season with wins over visiting Sacopee (1-0) and North Yarmouth Academy (2-0), sandwiched around a 2-2 tie at Poland.

The Falcons, who won a playoff game last fall for the first time in 11 seasons, opened with a 3-1 setback at Greely, but turned around and downed visiting Lake Region (3-0), host Fryeburg (2-1) and visiting Gray-New Gloucester (2-1, in double overtime).

Waynflete took last year's meeting, 2-1, in Portland, and hadn't lost to Freeport since a 4-1 setback at the Falcons Sept. 10, 2005.

Saturday, with a definite hint of fall in the air, Freeport almost got the better of the Flyers, but the visitors saved their best for last.

Neither team scored in the first half, although both had opportunities.

The hosts' best chance came in the 14th minute when senior Naomi Otis beat a defender and passed to junior Ashley Richardson, who got to the ball just as Waynflete sophomore goalkeeper Juliana Harwood did and the goalie made the save.

In the 20th minute, Flyers junior Walker Foehl's corner kick was punched away by Freeport senior goalkeeper Aubrey Pennell.

Later in half, twice Giguere sent passes across the crease that no Falcon could reach, but her teammates weren't able to get to the ball either.

With 4:28 to go before halftime, Freeport senior Amanda Miles stole a pass and unleashed a low shot that Harwood stopped.

Action (and scoring) picked up in the second half.

After the visitors pressured only to have senior Amelia Mitchell shoot wide and Walker and Giguere shots saved by Pennell, the Falcons grabbed the lead.

With 24:14 left in regulation, Richardson broke the ice, taking a pass from sophomore Emily Johnson, racing down the left sideline, beating a defender, then lofting a shot over Harwood to make it 1-0.

Less than five minutes later, Freeport doubled its lead as Johnson set up freshman Maddie Squibb to seemingly put the Falcons in the driver's seat.

Instead, the Flyers had the Falcons right there they wanted them.

With 17:23 to go in regulation, Walker played a corner kick into the box. It took a hop and senior Sadie Cole tried to kick it toward the goal. Agnew then found herself with the ball in front and tucked it past Pennell to cut the deficit to 2-1.

Waynflete kept the pressure on and with 8:50 to go, in a scrum, Cole sent the ball on goal where Agnew was again in the ideal place to bury the shot and tie the score.

Neither team had a good look the rest of regulation and it was on to overtime.

The Flyers appeared to have all the momentum and sure enough, they kept control in the first of a potential two five minute "sudden victory" extra sessions.

Twice Walker fired long shots on goals, but Pennell made the save.

After the second, the ball came back to Cole, who made a pretty move past a defender, took a touch, then fired a shot that appeared ticketed for the goal.

Pennell had other ideas and leaped to make the save, but she wasn't able to corral the rebound and waiting for it right in front was Giguere and with 51.3 seconds to go in the first overtime, the freshman made the most of her opportunity, firing the ball into the net to give Waynflete the 3-2 come-from-behind victory.

"Sadie shot and the goalie deflected it and I was there," said Giguere. "I just had to knock it in. It felt great."

"We stole one," said Flyers coach Todd Dominski. "We kept fighting. We made a formation adjustment. Once we got one, we had confidence to get another. I felt pretty good that we had momentum going into overtime. It's so short though. We wanted to get pressure on them. We got a shot off.

"We've worked on goal scoring all week. We'll continue to work on it. Everybody's contributing. We'll spread our scoring out this year. We're getting goals from wherever we can. Arianna played incredible. So did Isabel. It's the best I've seen them play all season. Lots of pressure on the ball. A lot of good things out there. It's a confidence and character builder. It shows we have the ability to bounce back."

It was a bitter loss for the Falcons.

"It's kind of growing pains right now," said Freeport coach Elayna Girardin. "We were down two starters and we lost a third starter today. I had a freshman score one of our goals. We're trying to adjust the best we can. We got a little on the freaked out side. We've worked hard and had some great wins. This would have been a great win to finish the week off with. We're relatively young. I have a senior goalie, a senior mid and a senior defender, but I have a bunch of sophomores and juniors and I had a freshman out there. It's a learning experience that even when you're up two, you have to keep playing the whole game."

Long season ahead

Freeport won't have long to lick its wounds. The Falcons have to go to two-time defending Class B champion Falmouth Tuesday. Friday, Freeport is at Old Orchard Beach.

"We'll keep working and make sure our non-starters are ready to start," said Girardin. "We'll be shorthanded for awhile."

Waynflete hopes to keep its run going Tuesday at Sacopee. A home test with Gray-New Gloucester follows Thursday.

"I think we're improving as a team through each game," Giguere said. "I think our finishing still needs work. We have a great crosser in Walker. Most of the balls go by, we need to finish those."

"We have tough games coming up," Dominski said.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.