Wednesday, December 4, 2013
By Greg Reid / Special to the Press Herald
PORTLAND – You couldn't blame the Waynflete girls' soccer players if some began to wonder if it was better to be lucky than good.
Make no mistake: the Flyers were quite good.
Through the first half, they'd held a 15-2 edge in shots and had taken six corner kicks to none by Wiscasset.
Still, the score held at 1-1.
A bit of luck finally came the Flyers' way when senior Isabelle Agnew headed in Rhiannan Jackson's free kick with 26:25 to play in the second half to lift No. 4 Waynflete to a 2-1 victory over No. 5 Wiscasset in a Western Class C quarterfinal Tuesday at the Fore River Athletics Complex.
"I'm just so excited that we won," Agnew said. "I got ahead of the players a little bit, it bounced and I headed it into the back left corner."
The Flyers (9-2-4) move on to the regional semifinals Saturday. The Wolverines end their season at 10-4-1.
"We just need to keep moving the ball, and keep attacking and know that eventually one of those crosses is going to go in, or we'll turn and get a shot or a free kick," Waynflete Coach Todd Dominski said.
"We just keep doing what we're doing and something good is going to happen."
Freshman Esme Benson put the Flyers ahead 1-0 with 20:39 left in the first half off a corner kick from Walker Foehl. The ball dropped for Benson, who was on the end line at the back post. She hit a volley across the goal mouth and the ball curled in.
"Coach is always saying if you put in the work to get to goal, it'll pay off," Benson said. "I'm just glad that all our hard work is paying off."
Wiscasset tied the game at 1 about 10 minutes later, when Sarah Hanley converted Miranda McIntire's free kick from just to the left of the box. It was the Wolverines' second shot on net.
The Flyers outshot the Wolverines 28-7, and held a 12-0 edge in corner kicks. Wiscasset keeper Kayla Gordon made 20 saves; Juliana Harwood made six for Waynflete.
"We had a lot of misplayed balls, unlucky touches," Wiscasset Coach Duane Goud said. "I thought we could beat them over the top, but they were able to run it down better than we could.
I'm really proud of my team. They came out and gave it their all."
Waynflete's high back line blunted the Wolverines' assault, forcing them off-sides repeatedly in the second half.
"We do try to play up, but that's for our benefit, so we can join in the offense," Jackson said. "We play a lot of teams that try to go over the top. We try to pass it around and build it up from the back."
The Wolverines were not without chances, but the Flyers' back line rode out the forwards, or stripped the ball, turned and sent it forward.
Wiscasset's Rachael Berry came inches from tying the game at 2 with 16:21 to play. She broke through the Flyers' defense, drawing Harwood from the goal. Berry sidestepped the sprawling keeper and drove the ball, but it rolled wide right.
"We kept motivation up, we never gave up," Goud said.
"Waynflete played really well. They play a nice one-touch game, and we didn't have that one-touch going as well today."