Despite a four-goal first-half performance by senior Brady LaFrance on Thursday, May 26, the Falcons couldn’t sneak past the visiting Raiders, falling by a lone point, 8-7.

At first, Freeport head coach Geoff Arris was uncharacteristically at a loss to explain just what went wrong for his boys.

“You know, I don’t really know. We came out on fire, and we carried that right to the end. That’s what we’ve prided ourselves on this whole season, is starting strong and finishing strong, and I think we did that.”

Freeport built an early, if slim, lead, riding LaFrance’s big day to 3-2 midway through the second quarter, then 4-2 as halftime approached. A momentary Falcons defensive lapse gave the Raiders back a point with 1:10 remaining before the break, however. 

“We had a couple let-ups,” Arris said, honing in on particulars, “that penetrated our defense. They walked in on a couple of those goals. We tried to address it. I think we kind of shut it down at the very, very end – but, a little too little, too late.”

Fryeburg maintained the momentum they’d captured at the end of the second quarter as the third quarter dawned, and tallied the tying goal just 15 seconds into play.

At 9:08, Falcon Connor Dostie laid a heavy hit on a Fryeburger and a flag sent him to the sidelines for a minute. His teammates had nearly killed the penalty – one measly second remained on it – when the Raiders struck again and seized the lead.

Dostie soon got the point back, though, balancing the board at 5-5 with a nice cut across the top of the Fryeburg zone and a successful shot across.

Midway through the fourth, Fryeburg added two in quick succession, breaking open a 7-5 advantage, but Dostie halved the deficit at 4:28, when he whirled in from behind-right to beat Raiders goalie Yukon King on the near side.

Fryeburg inched ahead again 30 seconds later, and things began to look grim for the Falcons. The Raiders needed only kill four minutes without giving up two goals, a plausible task in a tight game. Still, Freeport found a way to pull within one at 1:29, when Nate Thomas fired forward to Evan Donald, who turned and pulled the trigger from outside-right to make it 8-7.

Down by one, 13 seconds to play, Arris called timeout. When the Falcons returned to the field, netminder Zac Wogan carried the ball out of net and well into midfield, looking for the right connection. An unfortunate offsides call killed play in the end, however, and Fryeburg took the W.

“We were trying to set up, like, a two-four,” he said, “and have the guys in the crease work around and have Zac either go over – but someone was supposed to come back for him, but everyone gets all fired up with 13 seconds left, so it kind of fell apart. The idea was just to have them move, get open, one-pass, two-pass, goal. Didn’t work.”

“I think if we moved the ball – I think we held it a little too much toward the end,” Arris said. “If we just let the ball do the work, it saves our legs and gives us a chance to mess up their defense and try and net a couple.”

As always, Wogan in the cage was the stalwart cornerstone of his team’s chances, which Arris observed:

“[Zac’s] absolutely amazing. He’s the true anchor of our team. We’re pushing for him for All-American; I think he’s one of the stronger goalies in this league. Our record doesn’t show – we’re not a State-Championship team currently, we’re not Falmouth or Cape, but if he were on those teams, those teams would be undefeated, easily. One of the best.”

Arris also lauded his other boys as well: “[Everyone] played well,” he said. “Ed Lefebvre was playing great on defense, No. 12; Jake Todd did, until he hurt his ankle again; Perrin Davidson always hustles; Evan Owen; Zach Owen is always fired up on the wing. It’s great energy. Brady – he had four goals in the first half. That’s awesome … Connor Dostie got a couple.”

The Falcons stumble on the loss to 3-8.  The team ranks 13th at present, behind Erskine (2-9) but ahead of Morse (also 2-9). With one game remaining on their regular schedule – June 1, on the road at Waynflete (No. 4 in B South at 6-4) – there’s still a chance they could sneak into the playoffs. 

It’s do-or-die for them, though; they’ll absolutely need to upset the Flyers – and they may need to catch a couple other breaks as well – for the Heal Points gods to decide in their favor. Still, Arris couldn’t be happier with how this particular squad has grown over the course of the season.

“I’m very, very proud. These kids just give it their all every day in practice, in every game. It’s honestly the closest team I’ve ever coached; they love the game, they love each other. That’s what I look for, just the joy. It’s fun, it’s awesome; these guys are great. I can’t say enough about them, I really can’t.”

 

Brady LaFrance skirts a Fryeburg opponent on his way upfield with the ball.

Freeporter Reid Poissonnier unwinds into a pass at home vs. Fryeburg.

Freeporter Perrin Davidson hounds an attacking Fryeburg opponent.

Freeporter Perrin Davidson slips through a Raiders pincer at home on Thursday.

Freeport’s Nate Thomas shoulders past a Fryeburg defender.

Freeporter Kohen Bailey lays a hit on a Raiders opponent.

James Knighton defends for Freeport in their bout with Fryeburg.

Freeport’s Evan Donald wards off a Raiders opponent.

Freeporter Eli Fox whips off a shot in the Falcons’ battle with visiting Fryeburg on Thursday.

Freeporter Ed Lefebvre tracks the action in Thursday’s battle with Fryeburg.

Connor Dostie tallied two goals for the Falcons vs. the Raiders on Thursday.

The Falcons’ Zach Owen hurls a ball ahead in his team’s bout with visiting Fryeburg on Thursday.

Freeporter Brady LaFrance posted four goals for the Falcons in the close loss to visiting Fryeburg.