YARMOUTH — Matt Crowley kicked a low, hard shot into the right corner with 8:09 left to give second-seeded Greely a 2-1 win over top-ranked Yarmouth and the Western Class B boys’ soccer title Wednesday night.
Greely (13-2-2) will play Camden Hills (16-0-1) for the state championship at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Hampden Academy.
It was the third meeting of the season between the Western Maine Conference rivals, who tied 2-2 in their first game before Yarmouth dominated the second, 4-1.
Yarmouth (13-1-3) scored in the first minute and a half but Greely countered six minutes later.
Yarmouth had some great chances to break the tie in the first half but just missed.
Greely hung around and won it with Crowley, a senior veteran.
“We weathered the storm in the first half and played a better second half,” said Greely Coach Mike Andreasen. “We really dodged a bullet with Yarmouth’s pressure in the first half. We couldn’t go toe-to-toe with them. Yarmouth is skilled at every position. We had to slow the game down in the second half. Once we weathered the storm we were waiting for our chance.”
Crowley was all over the field and standing out in a variety of ways. Once he got into position to score, he didn’t hesitate.
“I got the ball in the middle and moved forward, back-touching the ball around a defender,” said Crowley. “I was in shooting range and slipped it into the bottom corner.”
That gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead. But they had to hold off the high-powered Clippers in the final eight minutes, no easy task.
“In the first game we led 2-0,” said Crowley. “Yarmouth came back and tied it. We knew we couldn’t let anything by us. We focused on defense this time.”
With time winding down, Yarmouth’s bid to send it to overtime resulted in a corner kick and two throw-ins from the corner in the final minute. But the Clippers didn’t get off any great shots as goalie Alex McAdoo and his defense held firm.
Yarmouth took a 1-0 lead on Max Watson’s header. A couple of minutes later, Adam LaBrie of Yarmouth shot wide on a break.
Jason Nason tied it with 32:20 left in the first half, controlling the ball down the right side and firing in a low shot.
“Yarmouth’s goal in the first minute woke us up,” said Crowley. “We got one a few minutes later and settled down.”
In the end, Yarmouth lamented its missed opportunities.
“We weren’t nervous but concerned that our missed opportunities would come back to bite us,” said Coach Mike Hagerty. “If we just could have capitalized one more time in the first half, the second half would have been played at a different pace. It was a great game and Greely’s a great team. We had more chances but Greely capitalized.”
Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at: firstname.lastname@example.org