CAPE ELIZABETH—Cape Elizabeth’s boys’ soccer team can’t buy a victory.

Greely, on the other hand, is never out of a game.

That was the takeaway from the rivals’ hard-fought midseason showdown Tuesday evening at Hannaford Field.

The Capers jumped out to a two-goal lead, as junior Dylan Hewitt converted a penalty kick in the game’s 34th minute and a minute later, he scored again, but the contest turned 20 seconds after his second goal, as Rangers senior Aidan Melville set up junior Chris Williams to stem the tide.

Greely took that momentum into the second half and with 37:32 to play, drew even when junior Lucas Goettel scored on a rebound off a corner kick..

Lady luck once again refused to dance with Cape Elizabeth, as senior Charlie Dall hit the crossbar and an apparent goal from junior Archie McEvoy was waved off when he was ruled offsides and the game went to overtime still deadlocked.

Each team had its chances in the 10 minutes of “sudden victory” OT, but couldn’t convert and the contest ended, 2-2.

The Rangers reached the midway point of their season at 4-1-2, while the Capers are now 2-5-1.

“It was important for us to get some (Heal Points),” said Cape Elizabeth coach Ben Raymond. “We needed them. More important, we played well and competed. We competed really hard and they competed really hard. It was a good back-and-forth game.”

“I’m happy to get out of here with something,” said Greely coach Mike Andreasen. “It could have been a worse result. We knew (Cape would) come out strong tonight. They’ve had some unlucky results.”

Halfway there

While the wins haven’t come as frequently for Cape Elizabeth as they have for Greely, both squads have demonstrated why they’ll be in the mix all season.

The Capers 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 Fryeburg Academy (5-0) and host Wells (8-0), then lost at home to defending Class B South champion Freeport 2-1, at Waynflete (3-1) and at York (2-1).

Greely, meanwhile, edged visiting Cape Elizabeth (3-2) to start, then settled for a 2-2 home draw versus Freeport. After a 4-0 loss at Yarmouth, the Rangers handled host Fryeburg Academy, 5-1, handed visiting Waynflete its first loss, 1-0, then held off visiting Gray-New Gloucester (2-1).

In the first meeting, in the season opener Sept. 6, Rangers senior Ethan Fraser set the tone with a goal just eight seconds in and Melville and senior Chris Theodores added goals which were just enough to counter Cape Elizabeth goals from junior Nick Clifford and senior Killian Lathrop.

Tuesday, on a chilly evening (60 degrees at the start), the Capers sought their first win over the Rangers since the 2017 playoffs, but couldn’t hold the lead.

Good chances weren’t plentiful for much of the first half, as the game’s first 33 minutes only produced one shot on frame for each squad.

In the 16th minute, off a corner kick, Hewitt turned and had a shot saved by Greely senior goalkeeper Schuyler Wetmore.

At the other end, Theodores fired a long, low shot, which Cape Elizabeth senior goalkeeper Andrew Carroll went to the ground to cradle.

In the 24th minute, Theodores came up with a heady defensive play, sweeping a sure McEvoy goal off the line with Wetmore out of the play.

Then, with 6:29 on the first half clock, the Capers got the game’s first goal, as sophomore Stewart Kelley was tackled in the box and Hewitt took the ensuing penalty kick and sent it into the goal with Wetmore having no chance on it, giving Cape Elizabeth a 1-0 lead.

With 5:11 remaining, the Capers struck again, as sophomore Nic Boudreau threw the ball in from the side and it deflected to Hewitt up top, who turned, then sent a low shot through traffic and past a diving Wetmore inside the near post for a seemingly safe 2-0 advantage.

But coaches say a 2-0 lead is the worst lead you can have for a reason, as Greely quickly demonstrated.

Just as the second goal was being announced, Melville got the ball off the ensuing kickoff, raced down the right side, drew the defense, then crossed to Williams, who fired a shot past Carroll to cut the deficit in half.

“Aidan had fire in his eyes,” Andreasen said. “He made a great ball and Chris had a heck of a finish. A one-timer in the side corner.”

“Two of the goals they’ve scored off us have come within seconds of the kickoff,” Raymond said, alluding to the first goal in the season opener. “But I thought we did a pretty good job on that. We kept (Melville) down in the corner, he had a great cross and it was a great finish. I don’t necessarily think that was too bad. I can live with those.”

Cape Elizabeth nearly answered with 27 seconds left in the half, but Hewitt’s bid for a hat trick on a ball from Dall went off his head and rolled just wide of the goal.

In the first half, the Capers had a 4-2 shots advantage, while the Rangers had a 3-2 edge in corner kicks.

“(Cape) played with emotion tonight and came out like a desperate team,” Andreasen said. “They were the better team in the first half. We were lucky to be only down one at halftime.”

“That (goal) was deflating for us going into halftime, but the kids understood they’d done a good job possessing and being dangerous,” said Raymond. “We had some areas we wanted to focus on and I think we did a good job with that.”

Greely took its momentum into the second half and quickly pulled even.

After Carroll robbed Williams in close, the Rangers earned a corner kick and senior Silas Cunningham’s serve got knocked around and came to Goettel, who fired a low shot into the net to make it 2-2 with 37:32 remaining.

After Carroll saved a shot by Greely senior Andy Moore, Cape Elizabeth had two golden opportunities to retake the lead, but one missed by inches and another wound up in the goal, but was overruled.

First, off a corner kick with 31:49 to play, the ball came up top who Dall, who ripped a rising shot that Wetmore couldn’t reach, but luckily for the Rangers, it rang off the crossbar.

Then, with 27:36 to go, junior Egan Doherty tapped the ball ahead to McEvoy, who was behind the Greely defense, and McEvoy finished for an apparent 3-2 lead.

With Greely clamoring for an offsides call, the officials huddled and indeed ruled that McEvoy was offsides, erasing the goal.

“It’s difficult, but I couldn’t see it,” Raymond said. “I’m 60 yards away and (the official) saw it a different way. We’re getting kind of used to it. We’ve had as many goals called off this year as we’ve scored.”

The Capers kept the pressure on, only to see shots from Lathrop and Clifford saved.

With 18:34 left, the Rangers nearly went on top, when Moore set up Williams in optimal position, but with Carroll out of the play, Williams sent the ball just inches wide of the far post.

Despite some good looks by both teams down the stretch, the game remained tied and went to overtime.

In high school soccer, teams play a pair of five-minute, “sudden victory” overtime sessions and if no one scores, the game goes into the books as a draw.

The contest would end up deadlocked, but not before some anxious moments.

A minute into the first OT, a cross from Cape Elizabeth senior Jonas Moon was headed away.

Goettel tried to end it with 3:33 on the clock, but his long, low shot was saved by Carroll.

With 1:57 left, Moon tried a long shot, but Wetmore snared it.

With 55 seconds to go, Greely took a corner kick and the ball momentarily sat free in the box before being cleared.

Clifford then tried to set up Kelley at the other end, but Wetmore got to the ball first.

Then, as time wound down, the Rangers took another corner kick and Carroll came out to punch the ball away, sending the game to the second and final overtime.

There, both Cunningham and junior Chase Cornwall had shots saved by Carroll and the teams settled for the 2-2 tie.

“We played well in the second half,” Andreasen said. “We showed a lot of character. Tying or beating Cape isn’t Earth-shattering either way, but we want to beat them because they’re a rival and they’re a good team.”

“(Greely’s) a dangerous team with dangerous players,” Raymond said. “I thought we had more possession and opportunities, they just did a really good job of making their (opportunities) count. That (tying goal) could have caused a letdown, but we had more opportunities. We had more shots than previous game, which is an area we’ve focused on.”

Each team registered nine shots on frame and both Carroll and Wetmore made seven saves. The Rangers had an 8-6 edge in corner kicks.

It gets no easier

Cape Elizabeth (now 12th in the Class B South Heal Points standings) faces the daunting task of going to Yarmouth Saturday. The Capers then host Lake Region and York next week.

“We’re finishing our stretch of seven really competitive games in a row,” Raymond said. “We’re just trying to play our best soccer and we’re making strides. If we just keep competing, we’ll be happy.”

Greely (third in Class B South) has a big test Friday at Freeport, then next week hosts Wells and Yarmouth.

“At times we look good and at times, we’re not clean in the back and the Yarmouths and Freeports of the world will expose that,” Andreaeen said. “The offense isn’t always finishing runs or doing little things. We have to turn the corner. Hopefully, our best soccer is ahead of us.”

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

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