Thursday, December 12, 2013
By Earl Swinson, Special to the Press Herald
TOPSHAM - Tee Chanchemgpanich and Jason Tome scored goals and keeper Gabe Pelletier made a game-saving save with five minutes left as Mt. Ararat knocked off previously unbeaten Lewiston 2-1 in boys' Eastern Class A soccer Tuesday.
Tome's goal off an Eric Bowie throw-in put the Eagles (8-1-1) up 2-0 with 27:51 remaining, but Yusuf Yama made it a one-goal game by ripping a pass from Abdibaari Hersi just under the crossbar with 16:38 to go.
The Blue Devils (8-1-1) were pressing for the equalizer when Mohamed Ali on the right crossed to an unmarked Yama in front of the left post. Yama had plenty of open net in front of him, but Pelletier lunged across the crease and got his right hand on the bang-bang blast to rob him.
"That save was a heart-stealer," said Lewiston Coach Mike McGraw.
"It was instinct and a lot of practice," said Pelletier. "I knew they had a fast counter and we were a little slow covering, and I just managed to get over in time and get my hand on it."
Lewiston had the edge in possession in the opening half, but Chanchemgpanich put the Eagles on top with 4:26 left after Robbie Small chased the ball down in the right corner and sent it to the crease.
Chanchemgpanich's first shot was blocked by a defender, but he collared the rebound and put it in for the important first goal.
The Eagles had a pair of threats in the opening minutes of the second half, but Tome's close-in shot was gobbled up by goalie Eric Soucy before Small broke in alone but shot just wide after Soucy came out to cut down the angle.
Mt. Ararat continued to carry play and doubled its advantage on Bowie's throw-in from the left side. The ball rolled untouched through the crease to Tome in front of the far post, and he slipped it inside the post for the score.
"I was playing behind, and I knew there was a small chance the ball would get through," said Tome. "But if it did, I had to be in the right spot. It did, and I just had to make sure I didn't miss."
"The game was just what we thought it would be," said Eagles Coach Rick Renaud, whose charges lost a season-opening 3-1 decision to Lewiston for their only loss.
"It's all about the marking. When you back off, and they get the ball, they're dangerous."