Thursday, December 5, 2013
By Greg Reid / Special to the Press Herald
CUMBERLAND — The Falmouth boys' soccer team answered two big questions when it rallied from a 2-0 deficit to beat Greely 3-2 in overtime to win an early Western Maine Conference match Tuesday afternoon at Greely High.
Falmouth’s J.P. White, right, celebrates his game-tying goal against Greely with teammates, including Grant Burfiend, left, who scored the eventual winner in a 3-2 win in overtime at Greely. Falmouth is now 4-0 while Greely drops to 2-1.
Photos by John Ewing/Staff Photographer
Greely’s Matt Crowley leaps over a Falmouth player for a head ball during Falmouth’s 3-2 overtime win at Cumberland on Tuesday.
After rolling past opponents 16-0 in their opening three games, could the Yachtsmen take a hit? Heck yes. In fact, they took two early ones, when Greely freshman Jacob Nason scored twice off corner kicks to post the Rangers a 2-0 lead with 27 minutes to play in the first half.
And could Falmouth deliver a knockout punch in a back-and-forth game? Again, the answer was an emphatic yes. First came the hard shot to the Rangers' ribs with three seconds left in regulation, when senior J.P. White scored on a partial breakaway to tie the game at 2.
The second was senior Grant Burfiend's devastating strike to the jaw with 43 seconds left in the second overtime.
"That's a tough Greely team, and to come back after being down by two just shows you the resiliency of our kids," said Falmouth Coach Dave Halligan. "We tell the kids to play to the end, just play to the end. We gave it our best, and we got a break at the end. J.P.'s a veteran player and he does what's expected. Same thing with Grant on the winner."
Falmouth (4-0) held an edge in corners, 7-6. Both teams tallied 16 shots. Greely keeper Elijah Leverett had 10 saves and Falmouth's Will D'Agostino had nine.
Nason put Greely (2-1) up 1-0 just 6:08 into the game, as center back Sam Porter's glancing header at the near post fell to him in the penalty area. Nason drove a low right-footed shot past D'Agostino. The play started with Nick Shain's corner kick.
Nason made it 2-0 seven minutes later, when he got his head on another Shain corner to drive the ball inside the back post.
Falmouth's Luke Velas broke through with 14 minutes left in the half, scoring off a scramble in the box.
"I thought we were the better team in the first half," said Greely Coach Mike Andreasen.
"But that goal gave them some momentum and in the second half they were the better team. And in overtime they played like a team that was hungry, that was desperate."
Greely's back line of Nick Dunnett, Sam Porter, Doug Mitiguy and Patrick O'Shea had their hands full with the Falmouth attack, but in the first half held the likes of White, Cooper Lycan, Velas and Burfiend in check, sending the ball ahead to Matt Crowley, Mitchel Donovan and Ted Hart.
But in the second half, Falmouth did a better job of getting balls in behind the Rangers' defense, where its forwards forced mistakes.
"Those last two goals were on breakdowns, and I feel pretty good about that because those can be fixed," Andreasen said. "As tough as a loss like this is, it's pretty small in life. The world's not going to slow down for you, so you need to just keep moving.
"I felt coming in we can play with anybody, and we can. But playing with people and beating people are two different things. We've got to be able to close the deal, and we just didn't get it done today. We'll come back at it tomorrow."