PORTLAND—Waynflete junior Joey Ansel-Mullen put the ball in the net three times Thursday afternoon in the defending Class C state champion Flyers’ inter-class showdown versus Cape Elizabeth.

Once for the Capers, but more importantly, twice for his team.

And that proved to be good enough to lead Waynflete to a key midseason victory.

Cape Elizabeth got the jump in the 19th minute, as off a free kick, the ball sat loose in front and in the process of clearing it, Ansel-Mullen sent it into the Flyers’ goal instead, for a 1-0 Capers’ lead.

That miscue could have sunk lesser teams, but Ansel-Mullen would redeem himself in the 25th minute, scoring on a rebound to tie the game.

The contest remained deadlocked until 21:39 remained, when senior Oliver Burdick was taken down in the box and a penalty kick was awarded. Burdick did the honors and finished to put Waynflete on top for good.

Then, with 8:40 to play, Ansel-Mullen put it away with a gorgeous long strike and the Flyers went on to a 3-1 victory.

Waynflete earned its biggest win to date, improved to 5-1 and in the process, dropped Cape Elizabeth to 2-4.

“I’d be lying if I said the kids don’t get up for these games,” said longtime Flyers’ coach Brandon Salway. We want to beat everyone, but Cape is always strong and it means a lot to beat a top program.”

FACING THE BEST

Waynflete has for years played teams from all classes, improving via that trial by fire and that has paid dividends in the postseason.

The Flyers (along with the Capers) are among the best teams in the Western Maine Conference again this autumn.

Waynflete started the 2019 campaign with wins over host York (2-0), at home over Sacopee Valley (8-0) and a come-from-behind 3-2 triumph at Traip Academy. A 1-0 loss at Greely Saturday then snapped the Flyers’ unbeaten streak at 21 games.

“Everyone went away from that game frustrated, because we felt like we had chances and were better than that, but Coach said that now that the streak was out of the way, it gave us a fresh start,” said Ansel-Mullen.

Tuesday, Waynflete won at St. Dom’s, 3-0.

The Capers meanwhile, started with losses at Greely (3-2) and at home against Yarmouth in a playoff rematch (1-0). Cape Elizabeth bounced back with shutout wins over visiting Wells (5-0) and host Wells (8-0), but Tuesday, the Capers dropped a 2-1 home decision to Freeport.

Last year, the teams settled for a 1-1 draw in Cape Elizabeth.

Thursday, on a rainy afternoon, the Capers and Flyers met for the fifth time since 2011 (see sidebar, below) and Waynflete overcame the elements and an early mistake to prevail.

In the third minute, the Flyers looked to strike first, as sophomore Samir Sayed had a good bid, but Cape Elizabeth senior goalkeeper Andrew Carroll made the save and Sayed sent the ensuing rebound wide.

Carroll then stopped shots by junior Ben Adey and Burdick, after a long run.

In the 10th minute, a cross from Adey nearly found Burdick in the box, but was just a little high.

The Capers’ first shot came in the 11th minute, but Waynflete senior keeper Aidan Carlisle denied senior Charlie Dall.

With 21:45 left in the half, Cape Elizabeth struck first, thanks to a little good fortune.

On a free kick from junior Nick Clifford, the ball popped free in the box and Ansel-Mullen went to clear it, but he blasted it right into the net instead, making it 1-0 Capers.

“We put the ball in a dangerous spot, but I don’t know what happened after that,” said Cape Elizabeth coach Ben Raymond. “Everyone was looking around.”

“The ball came in and Ben Adey, the best outside back in the state, flicked it to me and I got good contact and it went where I didn’t want it to go,” Ansel-Mullen said. “I wanted to kick myself and throw my hands in the air, but that doesn’t do anyone any good. I just wanted to get it out of my head.”

Clifford then had a couple looks to double Cape Elizabeth’s lead, but he first missed just wide, then had a shot saved by Carlisle.

Waynflete then went back on the attack and was rewarded.

After junior Harry Millspaugh missed just high on a corner kick, the Flyers kept at it and off a free kick, after Carroll saved a shot by junior Aidan Kieffer, Ansel-Mullen was there to bang home the rebound with 15:41 remaining in the first half to make it 1-1.

“The ball came in, kind of bounced and Aidan put a good shot on frame and I was lucky to follow it up,” said Ansel-Mullen. “That felt good.”

“The guys did a great job responding,” Salway said. “Guys were fighting for Joey a little bit there. Unfortunately, we’ve had some practice falling behind. It’s a resilient group and they pick it up when we’re in that situation. Playing from behind isn’t where we want to be, but we were getting good chances and defensively, we were together.”

Late in the half, Burdick was denied by Carroll, Carlisle dove to rob senior Killian Lathrop, Burdick missed high with Carroll out of the cage and a last-second Waynflete corner kick didn’t result in a shot.

The Flyers had an 8-6 shots advantage in the first half and a 4-3 edge in corner kicks, but the game was deadlocked.

With the weather and field conditions starting to deteriorate, the second half began and while Cape Elizabeth threatened to go back on top, it would ultimately be Waynflete doing so.

With 37:25 remaining, Sayed lofted a shot that Carroll couldn’t get to, but luckily for the Capers, it ran off the crossbar.

Cape Elizabeth junior Archie McEvoy had a good look from the side with 31:56 remaining, but Carlisle made the save.

After Burdick missed high, the Capers took a corner kick with 24:05 on the clock, but Carlisle punched the ball out of harm’s way.

The Flyers then went back on offense and with 21:39 left in regulation, Burdick raced in to the box and was brought down hard by a defender. Initially, no call was made, but after a discussion among the officials, the clock was stopped and a penalty kick was awarded.

“I was worried because I didn’t think they were going to call anything, then they met and they did,” Burdick said.

Burdick shook off the foul and did the honors and his PK was true, as he beat Carroll to the goalie’s left for a 2-1 lead.

“I just wanted to put it away,” Burdick said. “I looked like I was going to shoot one way, then at the last second, I opened up my hips and went the other. I couldn’t be nervous about it. The goal looked so big from where I was and I knew it was an easy shot.”

“We’ve had good success with PKs so far,” Salway said. “Oliver earned it. He played a good game today. He was really dangerous.”

Cape Elizabeth tried to pull even with 12:09 on the clock, as McEvoy got past a defender on the right side and shot past Carlisle, but the ball sailed just high.

A mere 42 seconds later, Lathrop had a look and he too, sent the ball high.

Waynflete then got some breathing room with 8:40 remaining.

After Ansel-Mullen rang a free kick that deflected off the post, the Flyers kept possession, Ansel-Mullen got the ball back about 25 yards out and his rocket got past Carroll, who dove to his right but couldn’t stop the shot, and Waynflete’s lead was 3-1.

“Coming into the second half, (injured senior captain) Luca (Antolini) talked to me and told me to take more space and to keep going and luckily, I got that one in,” Ansel-Mullen said.

The Capers had a couple more chances to answer, but with 3:49 left, Lathrop shot high and with 1:30 to go, senior Jonas Moon also missed high.

The Flyers ran out the clock from there and celebrated their 3-1 victory.

Waynflete finished with a 13-8 shots advantage and got eight saves from Carlisle.

“(Cape’s) a good team, but we finished well and our backs, once again, were tremendous and Aidan played his best game of the year,” Salway said.

Cape Elizabeth had a 6-5 edge in corner kicks and got 10 saves from Carroll, but fell short.

“The PK took some of the wind out of our sails because we were banging on the doorstep,” Raymond said. “I think things got a little bit sloppy. We were lucky more goals didn’t go in. Anything on target had a chance today. We did a pretty good job defensively and we had some good possession in the first half, but we had a hard time scoring.

“I don’t look at class at how teams are. The better teams are the better teams no matter what class. Waynflete’s well-coached, they’re organized, they move the ball well and they attack.”

NO LET-UP

Cape Elizabeth has another tough test Saturday at York. The Capers return home Tuesday to face Greely. A trip to undefeated Yarmouth follows.

“It would be great to get some (Heal Points),” Raymond said. “We continue to play well and win, tie, loss, it doesn’t matter that much until the playoffs start. Once the playoffs hit, everything starts over and I think we can be as good as anyone else. We have to stay focused the entire game. There are times we’re not completely switched on and that hurts us.”

Waynflete is idle until Tuesday when it hosts Traip Academy. The Flyers then go to defending Class D champion North Yarmouth Academy and welcome Gray-New Gloucester.

“This win gives us confidence,” Burdick said. “We know that once we go down to the Class C level, as long as we play like ourselves, well be better than the other teams.”

“We can build off of this,” said Ansel-Mullen. “We can still get better, but were making good progress.”

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

Recent Waynflete-Cape Elizabeth results

2018
@ Cape Elizabeth 1 Waynflete 1 (tie)

2017
Cape Elizabeth 2 @ Waynflete 0

2012
@ Cape Elizabeth 1 Waynflete 1 (tie)

2011
@ Waynflete 1 Cape Elizabeth 0

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