CAPE ELIZABETH – For an early-season boys’ soccer game, there was plenty of physicality, plenty of emotion and no lack of offense — contrary to the score.

In Cape Elizabeth’s 1-0 victory against North Yarmouth Academy, the teams combined for 25 shots on goal, which ultimately produced Tim Lavallee’s goal with 52.8 seconds left.

But Wednesday at Hannaford Field, the Western Maine Conference matchup also brought about emotion typically found in rivalry games and playoff contests. The Capers and Panthers combined for five yellow cards, four against Cape (2-0), all in the first 50 minutes.

“It was a really chippy game,” Lavallee said. “I didn’t expect it but this game ended up being really chippy. I don’t really know why but we just couldn’t finish even though we dominated the whole second half. We just couldn’t finish.

“But our captains, especially Jack Queeney, did a good job of controlling us. He kept us cool and gave us a great halftime talk and huddled us in. He told us, ‘Keep our heads in this and we’ll win it.’ “

NYA Coach Martyn Keen, also surprised by the intensity in his team’s opener, expected a more wide-open game.

“When I coached at Deering, we had some huge battles with Cape but I didn’t expect this,” Keen said. “I know some of the kids know each other and I was very surprised by it. Right from the start. I’m, in a way, pleased the kids showed they could handle that. You don’t really see that in Class C soccer.”

The teams combined for 15 shots on goal in the first half, but the best chances came in the final four minutes.

Off a throw-in, Mohamed Dahia of NYA settled a pass from Asad Dahia but his close-range shot went high.

Four minutes later, Cape midfielder Blake Barritt redirected Tim Takach’s pass wide of the goal.

And with four minutes left in the half, Asad Dahia split a pair of defenders but his shot from 10 yards hit goalie Cam Brown (11 saves) in the chest.

In the second half, the Capers’ best chances came with less than five minutes left, when Lavallee’s shot bounced off an NYA defender and into the hands of goalie Jesse Holland (14 saves).

Cape was unable to convert its sixth corner with four minutes left, and a minute later Barritt’s direct kick from 30 yards went high.

Then, with less than a minute left, Takach pushed a pass to Lavallee, who was playing on the right side of the field, and he tucked a shot into the far corner past Holland, who dove in an attempt to stop the shot.

“There wasn’t much time left and it was a perfect drop-kick from Cam (Brown),” Lavallee said. “It went right to Timmy’s head and he flicked it perfectly and I ran onto it.”

Lavallee’s goal also ended NYA’s hopes of getting early Heal points against Cape, a Class A team — points that could be valuable in the Western Class C standings.

“It’s a very disappointing way to lose, right at the end like that,” Keen said.

Staff Writer Rachel Lenzi can be reached at 791-6415 or at:

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