FREEPORT — In a close soccer match, where two teams battle tooth and nail, a game could be decided with a bad bounce or an unfortunate call.

In Friday’s Class B South semifinal game, there was no concern for that.

Freeport proved to be the better team as the Falcons beat Greely, 3-1, in boys high school soccer play at Joan Benoit Samuelson Track and Field.

The No. 2 Falcons (11-3-2) will host No. 4 Cape Elizabeth (9-4-3) Wednesday at 6 p.m. for the regional championship. The Capers knocked off top-seed Yarmouth, 2-1, snapping the Clippers’ 45-game unbeaten streak. No. 3 Greely’s season ended at 9-5-2.

“This was great. Great for the community and at our new facility, couldn’t be more happier,” Freeport coach Bob Strong said. “These kids have worked hard to get to this point, and to host the regional final, we needed a few things to happen and they did.”

“They are a very talented team, Bob has done a great job with them,” Greely coach Mike Andreasen said. “We knew last year they were going to be strong this year. They’ve come a long way since our game early in the season (a 0-0 tie in the second game of the year). Freeport is the best team we’ve faced, and I’ll say the better team won today.”

Along with the tie, the Falcons blanked the Rangers, 3-0, their second time around and things didn’t change on Friday night. The Falcons dominated play in the opening frame, keeping most of the action in the Freeport offensive zone and keeping the visitors from putting a shot on net.

In the 32nd minute, Shea Wagner intercepted a pass at midfield and carried it down the side deep into Freeport territory. After passing it to Jesse Bennell, the ball made its way to Eriksen Shea, where the senior registered the first goal of the game.

“Eriksen has done so much for us,” Strong said. “Tonight we needed him to play up and make something happen and only after a couple of minutes, he did.”

“We knew it was important to score that first goal,” Shea said. “I should have had one earlier, but I had a hand ball, so I wanted to get another chance.”

Greely remained one goal down to close out the half, keeping Freeport from adding to its lead with three saves from Schuyler Wetmore. The Rangers did not manage a shot on goal in the opening frame.

Second half

Less than five minutes into the second half, Bennell let the air out of Greely’s balloon, using some nifty footwork to beat his defender and fire one past Wetmore for the second goal.

The dagger came 15 minutes later when Wes Goodwin picked up a rebound off a Wetmore save and drilled it to the back of the net for the score.

Meanwhile, Greely was able to fire three shots on goal, only to be turned away from keeper Atticus Patrick, including a ball the senior punched away following a corner kick to preserve the shutout.

Greely’s Charlie Saffian scored the lone goal for the visitors after the senior forward dribbled down the sideline and tucked it away into the lower left corner.

As for Freeport, much excitement filled the air as a packed crowd cheered and congratulated the home team, something senior Ericken Shea appreciated.

“It’s so great to play at home and have the support of our fans,” the senior said. “It’s a really crazy feeling.”

Classmate Shea Wagner felt the same.

“This is the first deep playoff game I’ve played since I swung on the varsity baseball team my freshman year. It’s amazing what we’ve done with the team this year, we’re pretty young,” Wagner said. “This is so much fun to be able to play at home in the regionals.”

Freeport and Cape Elizabeth split two meetings this season. The Falcons lost 2-0 on the road on Sept. 17, but slipped past the Capers in the season finale at Freeport, 2-1.

 

 

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