YARMOUTH — Ryan Maguire scored at 17:43 of the second half off a heads-up feed from Peter Zeitz as Yarmouth edged North Yarmouth Academy 1-0 in a rainy Western Maine Conference boys’ soccer game Tuesday night at Yarmouth High.

Ryan Salerno, the NYA goalie, had grabbed a send-in for Maguire and the Panthers tried to clear the zone. But Zeitz stepped up and headed the ball sharply toward the box.

“I didn’t see (Maguire),” said Zeitz, “but I just tried to follow through on the ball, got all of it and got lucky.”

Maguire took it from there, beating his man to the left and drilling a shot to the low far corner. A diving Salerno nearly made the save, but the ball slipped under his arms and dribbled just over the line.

“We’re told to go right and shoot left, or shoot left and go right,” said Maguire. “So it was just the natural thing to do. Tonight in these conditions, you have to get the ball in the frame.”

“We’re always telling kids the little things make a difference,” said Coach Mike Haggerty of Yarmouth (7-0-1). “Instead of falling back, (Zeitz) didn’t let the ball touch the ground and that was the key. I thought he played his best game of the season.

“It was an unfortunate way to score.”

Salerno was making his first varsity start, and, Haggerty said, “(NYA Coach) Martyn (Keen) does a great job teaching his goalies. He made a lot of good decisions tonight and was in the right place, but I’m sure the wet ball had a lot to do with it. We might not have deserved the goal but we’ll take the result.”

NYA’s best chance to tie came when Matt Michaud shot high from a Ryan Spencer setup.

Salerno kept NYA (3-3) in it with a diving save off Pau Carnero Melero from a Cotter Jackson pass before a sliding Michaud kept Kyle Groves from the rebound.

“I was proud of the kids,” said Keen. “I thought we played very well and (Salerno) did a good job. It was a scrappy game and the weather had something to do with it, but we lost a tough game to Cape Elizabeth and now this one. That’s a lot of Heal points we could have used.”

The only real chance of the first half came when Salerno stopped a Sam Torres blast, then cleared the rebound from a charging Maguire with 10 minutes remaining.

“I didn’t think the first half felt like a rivalry game,” said Haggerty, “and I had my captains talk to the kids at halftime. I don’t know what they said but I liked our intensity in the second half. We were playing without two of the captains, Campbell Belisle-Haley and Luke Pierce, and we used our bench much more than usual.

“Freshman David Murphy, Ben Decker and Chandler Smith played a lot of minutes and really stepped it up.”