Sunday, December 8, 2013
By MARK JEANNERET Special to the Press Herald
CUMBERLAND - The most valuable thing Andrew Fochler has learned during his time as the Yarmouth High goalkeeper is not to deviate from his style.
Despite giving up two golden first-half chances with his aggressive play, Fochler stuck with his game plan in a 1-0 victory against Greely in a Western Maine Conference boys' soccer game Thursday night.
"You have to stay in it," Fochler said about the close calls. "You can't lose your composure and you can't shy off balls because if you do, it gives them the opportunity to score. If they take a long touch, you're going to want to assess the situation and come off your line if you think you can make the save, but there's a risk."
Fochler escaped from what seemed like a sure goal in the opening minute when Ted Hart beat him to a loose ball in the penalty area. But, with plenty of time and an open net, Hart shot over the crossbar.
Yarmouth (6-0-2) scored shortly after that. Benjamin Decker gained control deep in the Rangers' end and crossed to the front of the goal. Max Watson got a head on the ball and redirected it past Greely goalkeeper Elijah Leverett.
Later in the half, Fochler got caught out of his goal on another aggressive play. This time Ben Giffard was denied when defender Wesley Crawford blocked the attempt on the goal line.
"(Crawford) did a great job of doing what he's supposed to do, which is dropping and covering," said Fochler, who paid a physical price for an aggressive play a couple of weeks ago when he suffered bruised ribs in a game against Cape Elizabeth.
The Clippers almost took a 2-0 lead with 10 minutes left in the half when David Murphy led Decker into prime scoring position.
Decker struck the ball toward the goal but Leverett came across at the last moment to tip it wide.
Greely (6-3) turned up the pressure in the second half and created four or five quality opportunities in search of the tying goal.
One of the Rangers' best chances came in the ninth minute when they were awarded a free kick from about 25 yards.
Nick Shain curled a high shot toward the goal that looked like it had a chance before Fochler lunged across to make the save.
"Right now what we're lacking is really having a playmaker," said Greely Coach Mike Andreasen.
"We're trying but right now it just isn't working. I thought our effort tonight was fantastic. We had a great run at them."