Wednesday, March 12, 2014
READFIELD — For a five-minute span in the second half Saturday night, the Maranacook boys’ soccer team nearly fell apart as North Yarmouth Academy overcame a 2-0 deficit and threatened to take control in a Western Class C semifinal at Ricky Gibson Field of Dreams.
“Of course we were a little worried,” Maranacook Coach Don Beckwith said. “But we had to come back.”
And come back it did.
Senior forward Alec Daigle scored the with 18:58 remaining to propel second-seeded Maranacook past No. 3 NYA 3-2 in a physical and thrilling game before a boisterous crowd.
Maranacook (14-0-2) will play at top-seeded Hall-Dale (16-0) in the regional final at 2 p.m. Wednesday.
“We are exactly where we’re supposed to be,” Beckwith said. “We didn’t do anything extraordinary tonight. We are right where we are supposed to be. We showed a lot of character coming back like that.”
Maranacook led 2-0 on goals by Kodey Solmitz and Daigle before the Panthers (15-1) rallied.
D.J. Nicholas ripped a shot into the far corner past Maranacook keeper Brad Worster with 23:42 remaining to make it 2-1. Then Michael McIntosh tied it 1:31 later when he converted the rebound of a Nicholas shot.
The goals stunned the Maranacook faithful.
“We had the momentum,” NYA Coach Martyn Keen said. “As soon as we tied it up, we were thinking we were OK. We had it.”
Only the Panthers didn’t.
Just a little more than two minutes later, Daigle corralled a loose ball about 8 yards in front of the NYA goal and ripped a shot past senior keeper Austin Kidder.
“The ball skimmed right to me,” Daigle said, “and I just drilled it. ... It was great to come back so quick.”
“We got two in like a minute but then we blew it,” Keen said. “We didn’t defend in the corner and that’s what hurt us.”