FALMOUTH—One title wasn’t enough for Waynflete’s boys’ soccer team.

So the Flyers went out and captured another.

In most convincing fashion.

Saturday afternoon at Falmouth High School, facing upset-minded Mt. View, Waynflete grabbed an early lead, then erupted for three second half goals to go on to a decisive victory.

In the game’s third minute, senior Luca Antolini set up junior Joey Ansel-Mullen to put the Flyers on top to stay.

With just under 30 minutes to go, senior Oliver Burdick set up junior Patty Shaw for a beautiful header to extend the lead and that opened the floodgates.

Six minutes later, junior Aidan Kieffer scored on a rebound and with 17:25 to play, sophomore Samir Sayed delivered the final nail with a penalty kick goal and Waynflete went on to a 4-0 victory.

The Flyers finished 16-2, ended the Mustangs’ campaign at 15-3 and won a second straight state title, their third in Class C and sixth overall.

“It’s hard to get here and to win,” said longtime Waynflete coach Brandon Salway. “For these guys to win 16 games and to finish it off like this back-to-back is great.”

Do your job

After downing Fort Kent, 3-1, in last year’s state final, Waynflete came into the 2019 season believing it could go back-to-back, but the Flyers had to navigate a tough schedule to do so.

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 snapped the Flyers’ unbeaten streak at 21 games, but Waynflete bounced back to down visiting Cape Elizabeth (3-1), visiting Traip Academy (5-0), host North Yarmouth Academy, the defending Class D champion (2-0), visiting Gray-New Gloucester (6-0), host Wells (8-2), visiting Fryeburg Academy (5-0), host Sacopee Valley (3-1) and visiting St. Dom’s (3-1) before closing with a 3-0 home loss to eventual Class B champion Yarmouth.

“There’s no shame losing to Greely and Yarmouth,” said Salway. “The Greely loss helped us in the long run. It got us focused.”

After an 8-1 win over No. 6 Lisbon in the quarterfinals, Waynflete shut out No. 7 Traip Academy (2-0) and beat No. 4 Maranacook, 2-0, in the regional final to advance to its 12th all-time state final.

The Flyers had won five previous state games (see sidebar, below).

Mt. View, meanwhile, went 12-2 in the regular season, then ousted No. 6 Central (5-2) in the quarterfinals, No. 7 Fort Kent, the defending regional champion (2-0), in the semifinals and fourth-ranked George Stevens Academy (3-1) in the regional final.

Mt. View had appeared in just one prior state game, a 2-1 loss to Maine Central Institute in the 1980 Class B final.

The teams had no playoff history.

Saturday, Waynflete took care of business like the champion it already was and would become once more.

The Flyers’ first shot put them on top to stay.

Off a throw-in from the right side, the ball deflected to Antolini near the end line and Antolini calmly crossed it to Ansel-Mullen, who sent it past Mustangs’ junior goalkeeper Rickey Nelson for a 1-0 lead, just 2 minutes, 26 seconds into the contest.

“Luca was in space, I found a pocket, I screamed at him, he found me and it was a lucky re-direct,” Ansel-Mullen said. “It felt really good.

“The build-up went through everyone’s mind all week. We were so excited for this game. Coach stressed if we got an early one, it would open things up. (That goal) was a confidence-builder.”

“That made us feel good,” Burdick said. “We could settle in. We could play our game and we didn’t have to panic.”

“Playing from ahead allows you to relax,” Salway added. “It was a great cross and a great finish and it allowed us to play our game the whole time.”

The Flyers had chances to extend their lead before halftime, but Ansel-Mullen missed just wide, Burdick had a shot saved, Nelson punched away a bid from freshman Matt Adey and Antolini had a shot saved, then sent a header just wide.

Mt. View’s only chance of the half came with 50 seconds on the clock, as senior standout Elijah Allen took a free kick from 30-yards out, but he sailed it just a little high and it rang off the football crossbar.

In the first 40 minutes, Waynflete had a 5-0 shots advantage, but only led by one, thanks to four saves by Nelson.

“We had a stretch where we weren’t ourselves,” Salway said. “We booted the ball around a bit. The adrenaline took over a little bit.”

The Flyers then put it away in a second half to remember.

After Kieffer just missed a header and Burdick was denied by Nelson, the Flyers broke through with 29:36 left.

Burdick set up the goal, sending a low pass into the box right on to the head of Shaw, who got the ball to rise up and sail past Nelson while staying under the crossbar for a 2-0 advantage.

“We knew we needed more goals,” Shaw said. “I wasn’t expecting to score, to be honest. The ball came in perfectly and I just flicked my head and somehow, it went in the top corner, so I was happy.”

“We knew we had to come out strong in the second half,” Burdick said. “We played up to our maximum potential the whole game and the chances were there, so we just had to finish. I tried to put those balls in all game. That time, I was on my left foot and I hit it just right and (Pat) had a great finish.”

“We got our second wind at halftime,” Salway added. “The second half, we were terrific. Even when we didn’t finish, we got great chances and guys shared the ball and played their best. Patrick’s goal was just incredible.”

That goal broke Mt. View’s back and after Nelson denied a shot from junior Harry Millspaugh, then punched out a corner kick, he couldn’t stop Kieffer with 23:37 on the clock.

The goal came off a corner kick and after Adey’s shot was blocked, Kieffer was there to clean up the rebound to make the score 3-0.

“Matt shot the ball, one of their defenders deflected it, I saw it in front of the goal and I buried it,” Kieffer said. “It felt good to score.”

With 17:25 remaining, Waynflete scored its 67th and final goal of the year, as Sayed was brought down in the box and beat a diving Nelson to his right on the ensuing penalty kick to put it away.

Allen had one final look for the Mustangs, but sent a free kick wide and at 4:45 p.m., the Flyers got to celebrate their 4-0 victory.

“This means so much,” Burdick said. “You can never get too comfortable until the final horn, but it’s just unreal. Some people think if you win it once it doesn’t mean as much to win it again, but it means so much more to me as a senior captain.”

“It feels amazing,” Shaw said. “Going into the game, everyone was super-focused and not over-confident, but we expected to win. We’ve tried to stay focused on positive things. We lost some players, but we knew we still had a good group.”

“It feels great, especially for our senior class,” Ansel-Mullen said. “I’m so happy to send them off with a second championship in a row.”

“We were super-disciplined to play tonight,” said Kieffer. “It was a collective effort. Credit to our tough schedule. We faced adversity. Knowing the feeling of losing, we didn’t want it to happen in the playoffs. Coach kept us focused and the seniors know what it takes.”

“We didn’t really know what to expect, but as I’ve told the guys all year, I wouldn’t trade teams with anybody,” Salway added. ” I have very smart kids. If we talk about something, they do it. They often bring up trying certain things. They make my job easier. They’re enjoyable to coach and we’re tough to beat.”

Waynflete put 12 shots on frame and had a 5-0 edge in corner kicks.

Most impressively, the Flyers didn’t allow the Mustangs to put a single shot on frame.

“We pride ourselves on our play in the back,” Kieffer said. “We expect to hold our opponents.”

“(Mt. View had) good offensive players, but I don’t think there’s a better defense in the state than ours,” Burdick said. “They did a great job.”

“The back four has been unbelievable,” Salway added. “They don’t get enough credit. Aidan definitely anchors the group. He’s so composed back there.

“The group we have is good complementary players. Once we got healthy, we had dangerous players at every position. Luca’s versatility helped this team and (senior) Aiden Carlisle’s ability to be a force in goal allowed us to play Luca in the field.”

Uncharted territory

Waynflete will graduate six players and their departure will leave a void.

“The seniors were key,” Salway said. “They all fit in. They’re quiet leaders. They were terrific on the field. You’re only as good as your seniors.”

The Flyers have accomplished much over the years, but they’ve never won three consecutive state championships.

The 2020 squad will have that opportunity and with a lot of firepower returning, another coronation is a distinct possibility.

“We’ll celebrate tonight, but we’re already planning for next year,” Ansel-Mullen said.

“I want (to win again) very badly,” said Shaw. “I can’t wait. I’m excited for next year already.”

“We have a lot of kids coming back and our back four all return,” Salway added. “We’ll see how hungry we are. We’ll get after it again.”

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

Previous Waynflete state game results

2018
Class C
Waynflete 3 Fort Kent 1

2015
Class C
Washington Academy 1 Waynflete 0 (OT)

2011
Class C
Waynflete 2 Houlton 1 (2 OT)

2008
Class C
Washington Academy 1 Waynflete 0

2004
Class D
Van Buren 2 Waynflete 1

2003
Class D
Machias 2 Waynflete 0

2002
Class D
Waynflete 1 Van Buren 0

2001
Class D
Waynflete 3 Van Buren 1

1993
Class D
Waynflete 2 Ashland 1

1992
Class D
Jonesport-Beals 3 Waynflete 1

1990
Class D
Machias 1 Waynflete 0

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