Gus Wing of Freeport keeps the ball in play during a boys soccer game against Mt. Ararat on Tuesday at Riverside Park in Topsham. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

TOPSHAM — This time around, there was no gap between the Mt. Ararat and Freeport boys soccer teams. 

At least not Tuesday.

The Falcons (Class B) and Eagles (Class A) played to a 1-1 draw on the grass field at Riverside Park.

Freeport took the previous meeting, 4-1, in the season opener on its home turf field

“The difference between our home turf and this (field) is astronomical,” said Freeport junior forward Owen Howarth, who scored the Falcons’ lone goal Tuesday. 

Sean Rethi scored for Mt. Ararat.

Freeport took some time to adjust to the slower pace of play, as Mt. Ararat maintained consistent possession in the beginning of the game.

On the other side, Mt. Ararat was much more competitive with Freeport compared to the season opener.  

“We brought a lot more energy (Tuesday) than we did in the first one,” said Mt. Ararat head coach Jack Rioux. “The conditions definitely played a factor, but we played a lot harder.”

Ian Grimm of Freeport, left, dribbles past Spencer LeClair of Mt. Ararat during a soccer game Tuesday at Riverside Park in Topsham. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

Freeport head coach Bob Strong wasn’t making any excuses regarding the difference between grass and turf.

“It goes both ways. When they come to our turf it’s much quicker for them, so that challenge is reciprocated for them, too,” Strong said. 

The two respected programs were both played tough defense in the first half, as Eagles defenders Jonah Zell and Zander Kirk were all over the field keeping the ball away from Freeport attackers.

It got a bit chippy at times, as  four yellow cards were handed out throughout the contest. 

“It was a hard physical game from both sides,” Strong said. 

Toward the end of the first half, the Falcons had a barrage of shots on goal, but Eagles freshman goalie Jacob Fullerton (12 saves) was up to the task. 

“Our defense was fantastic today, the result could have been different without those guys,” Rioux said.

Gus Wing of Freeport, left, prepares to make a pass in front of Mt. Ararat defender Jason Kearney during a soccer game Tuesday at Riverside Park in Topsham. Eli Canfield/Times Record

Four minutes into the second half, Rethi  broke the scoreless tie, firing a shot into the upper right corner past the outstretched arms of Freeport goalie Colin Cronin (10 saves).

“It was an awesome game. Last time against Freeport wasn’t what we were looking for, and this time it was completely different,” Rethi said. “It’s just good to be back in it after dropping a few.”

The Falcons tied the game less than 10 minutes later, when Howarth bried a rebound off a Bobby Strong shot.

“It felt good. It’s good to be back scoring goals again, I needed that,” Howarth said.

Comments are not available on this story.