PORTLAND—Waynflete’s boys’ soccer team endured its share of frustration early in Tuesday afternoon’s home contest against Sacopee Valley, but you can only keep the Flyers down so long.
After Waynflete was called offsides on numerous occasions, it tried a new tack, dribbling the ball through the Hawks’ offsides trap and they managed to do so smoothly.
Smooth as silk, in fact.
Senior Tommy Silk, who played golf a year ago, continued his triumphant return by scoring a pair of goals in a 3 minute, 32 second span to send Waynflete on its way.
Senior Aaron Lee added a rebound goal to make it 3-0 at halftime and with 12:21 to go, senior Ahmed Mohamed finished a breakaway for a fourth goal. The Flyers’ defense, led by senior Willy Burdick, did the rest and they went on to a 4-0 victory, their fourth in a row.
Waynflete improved to 7-2 on the season, stretched its eight-year unbeaten streak against Sacopee Valley to 15 games and dropped the Hawks to 4-6 in the process.
“We have pretty high expectations right now,” said Flyers coach Brandon Salway. “The whole team takes pride in keeping a ‘0’ up there. They don’t want to give up a goal at any point. I think it’s good to play the entire 80 minutes, no matter the score.”
Waynflete entered the game ranked second in the Class C South Heal Points standings, while Sacopee Valley was fifth.
The Hawks had wins over Pine Tree Academy, Buckfield, North Yarmouth Academy and Traip Academy and losses to NYA, Buckfield, Wells, Poland and Traip.
The Flyers opened with a 6-0 home victory over Traip Academy, then held off visiting Fryeburg Academy, 2-1, before dropping a 1-0 decision at Class A power Falmouth. The Flyers then won, 9-0, at Lake Region, before falling at North Yarmouth Academy, 2-0. Waynflete bounced back with a vengeance, beating visiting Yarmouth, the defending Class B champion, for the first time ever, 2-1, before blanking host Poland (6-0) and Kennebunk (1-0).
Last year, Waynflete took both meetings by 4-1 scores.
Tuesday, on a very pleasant October afternoon, Sacopee Valley sought its first win over the Flyers since a 2-1 preliminary round playoff triumph in 2007 (3-1 on penalty kicks), but instead, Waynflete increased its unbeaten streak against the Hawks to 15 games (10 wins, five ties).
While the Flyers were offsides several times early, they did have a golden opportunity to take the lead in the 11th minute, when Silk was taken down in the box and Burdick took the ensuing penalty kick.
But he booted it high over the crossbar.
“I was surprisingly nervous stepping up to the PK,” Burdick said. “We came out flat and I knew it was a crucial play for us that could change momentum.”
Sacopee Valley had its lone shot on goal of the half in the 16th minute, but Waynflete senior goalkeeper Milo Belleau denied a long left-footed shot from sophomore Macaleb Reinhard.
With 15:13 to play in the first half, Waynflete got the only goal it would need.
Senior Abel Alemayo got things started by passing to Silk on the left sideline. Silk dribbled past a defender and went one-on-one with Hawks junior goalkeeper Cameron Cyr, beating the keeper with a shot just inside the far post for a 1-0 lead.
“We started out flat, but we had to adjust,” Silk said. “I tried to stay positive. I decided to take my space and take what they gave me and try to put it in the corner.”
With 11:41 left, Silk struck again, this time taking a give-and-go pass from Mohamed before pounding a shot from 10 yards out past Cyr and into the net to make it 2-0.
“Ahmed played a good ball that got over the top and in and I shot it hard at the goal and got it over the keeper’s head,” Silk said.
Silk is very happy to be on the pitch this fall.
“It feels great to be back,” Silk said. “A lot of fun, definitely.”
“I thought Tommy made some good individual plays to lift us,” Salway said. “That’s what you need sometimes. He’s been terrific. Chemistry-wise, he’s a great fit. He’s a really needed piece of the puzzle. He plays hard. He’s continually getting better at finishing. He’s been a great addition.”
Waynflete got further separation with 9:24 to play before halftime, as Burdick sent a free kick into the box and after Cyr bobbled it, Lee was there to pound it home and make it 3-0.
With 28 seconds remaining, the visitors almost got a goal back, but senior Will Goforth’s shot sailed just over the crossbar.
The Flyers had several near-misses in the second half before scoring one final time.
With 37:11 to play, Mohamed slipped through several defenders before shooting just high.
Off a corner kick with 32:45 left, sophomore Christian Brooks headed the ball just wide.
Three minutes later, Lee missed just wide.
With 27:40 remaining, Mohamed sent a left-footed blast just wide.
Silk looked for a hat trick with 20:10 to go, but after taking a pass from senior Cooper Chap, he hit the crossbar.
Senior Christian Kabongo then had a sure goal swept away by a Sacopee Valley defender at the last second.
Finally, with 12:21 to go, Mohamed got the ball behind the defense and raced in before beating Cyr for a 4-0 lead.
In the waning moments, the Hawks pushed hard to get on the board, but Burdick got back to break up a rush from senior Brady Anderson, senior Eli Moulton sent a rocket off the crossbar and the Flyers denied two corner kicks.
“After you miss a PK, you’re always really hard on yourself, but I forgot about it in the second half,” Burdick said. “That’s what you have to do, just keep playing your game. I don’t mind not getting all the goals. Me and Milo just care about shutouts. We want a ‘0’ on the board every game. Our defense has played really well all year. We switched to four in the back, with two center-backs, and that’s really been working well. We have four wins now with that. It’s just a really good year for our defense.”
Waynflete then finished off its 4-0 victory.
“After the Yarmouth game, it really boosted us,” Burdick said. “We’ve been going up ever since.”
While the Flyers won with ease, it wasn’t their best effort according to their coach.
“We can still play a lot better,” Salway said. “We played really well at Kennebunk and I hoped to carry that over. We didn’t move the ball well today. Our level of concentration wasn’t where it should be. (The offsides trap) was a good formation for them to play. We probably had close to 10 offsides penalties. I think it was just a lack of focus and concentration.”
Waynflete had a 7-2 edge in shots and a 4-2 advantage in corners. Belleau made two saves.
While Sacopee Valley is back in action Thursday at Fryeburg Academy, Waynflete is looking forward to its home showdown with NYA Saturday (the game time has been moved to 3 p.m.).
The Flyers have a chance to avenge one of their two losses.
“That’s a huge game,” Burdick said. “If we win, we’ll clinch the conference and should get a high seed. That’s a game we’ve marked our calendars for. It’s important for us to play at home and play in front of our home crowd.”
“We didn’t play well (at NYA),” Salway said. “They outplayed us the first time. Hopefully, we can even the score with them. This is a hungry group. Winning Saturday would help us get closer to our goals, but we have to play better. NYA defends well. It’s a big game for them too.”
After playing a return match at Sacopee Valley Tuesday, Waynflete visits Traip Academy, hosts Gray-New Gloucester and closes the regular season at home versus Freeport.
“It’s important to come out strong every game,” Silk said. “We have to move without the ball and be prepared for anything. I think we have a run in us. It’s a great squad to be a part of.”
“I’m confident we could be road warriors and win on the road if we have to, but if we don’t have to, it’s a big advantage to play at home and have all the comforts of home,” Salway said. “It makes a difference for sure.”
Waynflete senior Tommy Silk blows past a Sacopee Valley defender en route to scoring the first goal of the Flyers’ 4-0 victory Tuesday afternoon.
Bruce Feeley photos.
Waynflete senior Ahmed Mohamed reverses course to get the ball as Sacopee Valley senior Brady Anderson closes in.
Sacopee Valley goalkeeper Cameron Cyr collects the ball before Waynflete seniors Aaron Lee (in the air) and Cullen Bollinger can reach it.
Waynflete senior Ahmed Mohamed runs down the sideline with Sacopee Valley senior Will Goforth in pursuit.
Waynflete sophomore Christian Brooks defends Sacopee Valley senior Devin Day.
Waynflete senior Aaron Lee heads the ball as classmate Tommy Silk looks on.