Above: Kennebunk goalie Sean Berry leaps to make a save as Greely’s William Borden (25) looks on during the Rangers’ 4-1 victory at Glenn A. Hutchins Field in Cumberland Tuesday. Below: Kennebunk freshman James Rogers (3) fights for possession of the ball with Greely junior Will Pidgeon.

Above: Kennebunk goalie Sean Berry leaps to make a save as Greely’s William Borden (25) looks on during the Rangers’ 4-1 victory at Glenn A. Hutchins Field in Cumberland Tuesday. Below: Kennebunk freshman James Rogers (3) fights for possession of the ball with Greely junior Will Pidgeon.

CUMBERLAND — Three weeks ago, the Kennebunk boys soccer team beat Greely to move to 3-1-1 on the season. A lot has changed since that game for both teams, who met again Tuesday. The Rangers, who have been on a roll since that loss, were the better and healthier team in the rematch, as they ran past the Rams 4-1 at Glenn A. Hutchins Field.

 

 

Kennebunk (3-6-1) hasn’t won since that Friday night home game, including a blowout loss to Yarmouth followed by three straight one-goal defeats before Tuesday’s latest loss. The Rams also haven’t had a full squad since then, and were missing four starters for the rematch against the Rangers (5-3-2).

“You never use injuries as an excuse. I don’t let the kids use it, I’m not going to use them,” said Kennebunk head coach Bruce Peloquin. “They out-played us, they out-soccered us.”

Greely wasted no time jumping on the reworked Rams, as Kalle Eckholm headed in a Henry Melville corner kick – the Rangers’ first of the game – four minutes in.

“It was nice to get some of the ones early,” said Greely head coach Mike Andreasen, who thought his team played the better first half in the first meeting, which was 0-0 at halftime before Kennebunk won 4-2.

The Rams struggled to get the ball deep into the Greely end and create any scoring chances, but their lone goal came 15 minutes in thanks to a direct kick. Donovan Connor took the kick just inside his own end and sent it to the top of the Ranger 18-yard box, where it was headed toward the goal by Tom Zub. Alec Barry gained possession and took a couple touches before firing a shot past Greely goalie Brandon George.

Jacob Nason nearly put the Rangers back ahead two minutes later, but his shot from the top of the box cleared the crossbar. He didn’t miss just under four minutes later from point-blank range on Lucas Watt’s pass from the right end line.

“He’s just dangerous up there. Even his misses are usually pretty good,” Andreasen said of Nason, who has 15 goals this season. “We’re feeding him the ball because we know good things will happen.”

Hunter Graham made it 3-1 with 11 minutes left, as he beat Kennebunk goalie Sean Berry attacking the ball far out in the box, then easily struck the ball into the open net.

The Rams almost also scored on their first corner kick, which came 13 minutes into the second half, but Watt cleared the ball away at the goal line while standing in the mouth of the goal.

“The second half of this game was us playing soccer the way we want to play. If we played that first that way, even with the injuries, it would have been a more interesting game,” said Peloquin. “There’s a lot we can take from that second half.”

The Rangers finished with a 10-2 advantage in corner kicks, showing the kind of dominance in possession they held in the game.

“It’s a lot of midfield play, and our offense is kind of predicated on us keeping the ball,” said Andreasen, who plays three center midfielders and just one forward – Nason.

Kennebunk was playing two freshmen in the midfield for much of the game.

Nason put the nail in the coffin with a 20- yard strike off a counterattack midway through the second half.

The Rangers are now unbeaten in their last five games (four wins, one tie) since the loss at Kennebunk.

The opposite can be said for the Rams, who have limped – literally – through the middle part of their schedule.

“The guys have a good attitude. It’s not like they’re looking at this and saying ‘well, we’ve lost five in a row’ or whatever. They know what we’ve got, they know that we’re playing injured, and they’re staying together and they’re working hard,” said Peloquin. “They know, we get healthy, we can be a dangerous team.”

— Sports Staff Writer Wil Kramlich can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 323 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @WilTalkSports.


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