Freeport senior Finn Sheehan is tripped up by Greely sophomore Owen Kany (standing) and junior Chase Cornwall during Tuesday night’s 2-2 deadlock. Shawn Patrick Ouellette / Portland Press Herald photos. More photos below.

CUMBERLAND—Bodies were flying and the action was palpitating Tuesday evening at Glenn A. Hutchins Field.

The only thing missing was a resolution when Greely hosted Freeport in an early season boys’ soccer showdown.

It didn’t take long for the Falcons to make noise, as in the game’s third minute, senior Sam Tourigny scored for a 1-0 lead.

In the 12th minute, the Rangers drew even, on a nice finish from senior Aidan Melville.

After Greely senior goalkeeper Schuyler Wetmore robbed Freeport senior Will Winter on a penalty kick, Melville struck again with 5:20 left in the half to put the Rangers ahead.

The Falcons had another PK chance early in the second half and this time, junior Ethan Prescott converted with 36:33 remaining in regulation to tie the score.

Each team had opportunities the rest of regulation and in a pair of five-minute, “sudden victory” overtimes, but couldn’t score and the contest ended in a 2-2 draw.

Each squad stated its case as top contenders in Class B South and both are 1-0-1 on the young season.

“We knew we’d have a physical game,” said Freeport coach Bob Strong. “Both teams were missing some key players and had to adapt and I think both teams did a good job considering the circumstances.”

Top contenders

Freeport won its first regional championship in four decades last fall, but the Falcons couldn’t hold a two-goal lead and lost to Presque Isle in the Class B state final, 3-2. The 2019 squad opened with a 5-0 home win over Gray-New Gloucester last Thursday.

Greely, which was eliminated by Freeport in last year’s semifinals, held off visiting Cape Elizabeth, 3-2, in its first game Friday.

Last year, the teams settled for a scoreless tie in Freeport and then the Falcons won, 3-0, in Cumberland in the regular season. In the semifinals, Freeport did it again, beating visiting Greely, 3-1.

Tuesday, on a pleasant 62-degree evening, the Falcons hoped to make it three in a row in the rivalry, but neither squad was able to come out with a victory.

Before many fans got to their seats, Freeport had a 1-0 lead, as Tourigny finished with the game just 2 minutes, 21 seconds old.

Tourigny would be injured moments later and had to leave the game, joining senior Jesse Bennell and sophomore Owen Howarth on the sidelines.

The back and forth was just beginning.

Winter nearly doubled the lead in the sixth minute, but Wetmore dove to knock the ball out, setting up a Falcons’ corner kick which didn’t result in a shot.

Freeport then preserved the lead, thanks to senior back Sam Larochelle, who blocked a promising shot by Greely junior Chris Williams in the box.

With 28:33 to go in the first half, the Rangers got the equalizer, as after a foul, senior Silas Cunningham served the ball in front to Melville, who one-timed it past Falcons senior goalkeeper Gabe Wagner to make the score 1-1.

“That (first goal) was nice, but we knew Greely would come right back at us,” Strong said. “Because of injuries, we were plugging holes the whole game with personnel.”

Freeport had a great chance to retake the lead with 26:17 left in the half, as Winter was taken down in the box and a penalty kick was awarded.

Winter did the honors, but he shot right at Wetmore, who made the save, preserving the tie.

After Wagner denied both Cunningham and junior Lucas Goettel, the Falcons again nearly retook the lead, but after stealing the ball, senior Finn Sheehan hit the post.

Winter then got the ball from Prescott on a free kick, but just missed high.

The Rangers then grabbed the lead with 5:20 on the first half clock, as again Melville did the honors, taking a lead pass from senior Andy Moore before racing in and beating Wagner to make it 2-1.

“Aidan is a difference maker,” said longtime Greely coach Mike Andreasen.

Late in half, Cunningham had a free kick saved by Wagner and Sheehan had a rush broken up in the box by Rangers junior Chase Cornwall.

In the first 40 minutes, shots were even, 6-6. Five saves by Wetmore helped Greely cling to the lead.

Freeport would counter early in the second half.

With 36:33 to play, Sheehan made another run into the box, was again taken down and this time, the officials stopped play and the visitors earned another PK.

This time, Prescott took it and he buried it, beating a diving Wetmore to the goalie’s right to even the game, 2-2.

“The guys didn’t even look over to us (on the sidelines),” Strong said. “Ethan would have been our call. We still have confidence in Will, but Ethan nailed it. That was a huge goal for us.”

The rest of the game saw plenty of scoring chances, but no more goals.

Just two minutes after the tying tally, Cunningham’s free kick from the side trickled through the box untouched.

After Winter missed just wide, Wagner made his finest save, diving to rob Melville with 29:27 to go.

Wagner then denied Moore, Melville had a shot blocked in the box and Goettel had a shot saved by Wagner.

After a Prescott free kick hit the side netting, the Rangers went back on offense, but Wagner tipped Cunningham’s long blast over the crossbar and after the ensuing corner kick was cleared, Cunningham had another shot saved.

With 4:03 on the clock, Winter’s free kick was saved by Wetmore.

“Will Winter stepped up for them big-time in the first half, but in the second half, we put some bodies on him and contained him,” Andreasen said.

Goettel got a gift with 3:11 to go, as Freeport failed to clear the ball, but with Wagner out of the cage, he hit the post.

In the final minute, the Falcons had an offensive flurry in the box, but couldn’t manage a shot and regulation ended with the score tied.

In boys’ soccer, teams play a pair of five-minute, sudden-victory overtimes and if no one scores, the game goes in the books as a tie.

That would be the end result, but not before some more near-misses.

In the first OT, Greely dominated, but Cunningham’s free kick resulted in a clear by the Freeport defense and Cornwall missed wide.

Each team had a chance in the final session as well, but after taking a pass from Prescott, Winter missed just wide and a final Rangers’ corner kick was cleared.

The clock ticked down from there and the game ended tied, 2-2.

“We struggled to defend against Aidan and Silas and we have to do a better job,” said Strong. “We didn’t put a lot of shots on goal. Right now, that’s our weakness.”

“We had some chances and they had chances, but we got something out of it,” Andreasen said. “It was pretty entertaining. (Freeport’s) good. They’re so fast on counters. If you dribble out of the back and make square passes at the wrong third of the field, they go hard at you and make you pay. I thought the flow of play was pretty good for us.”

Greely finished with an 11-8 shots advantage, a 2-1 edge in corner kicks and got six saves from Wetmore.

Wagner made nine saves for Freeport.

Thinking Yarmouth

Yarmouth has been the Class B gold standard for several years and while the Clippers weren’t able to make it five consecutive championships last fall, they’re right back in the favorite’s role in 2019.

Both Freeport and Greely soon get a shot at Yarmouth.

The Rangers go to Yarmouth Saturday.

“I think all of us (Cape, Freeport, Greely, Yarmouth and York) are pretty close,” Andreasen said.

The Falcons welcome Lake Region Saturday, then play host to Yarmouth Tuesday.

“We have big games to come and we have nurse some guys back to health,” Strong said. “The kids are resilient. We’ll be ready.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

Freeport senior Damon Butler keeps Greely senior Aidan Melville away from the ball.

Freeport sophomore Gus Wing and Greely junior Jonathon Piesik battle for the ball.

Greely sophomore Owen Kany boots the ball away from Freeport sophomore Gus Wing.

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