BIDDEFORD — Playing in a soaking game-long mist on a cold night was just fine for two York County boys’ soccer teams who finally got to play their first game of the season Monday night.

“I kind of figured it would possibly be a miserable and cold rainy day but I told the boys Saturday, unless it’s a monsoon, we’re playing,” said first-year Biddeford Coach Paul Illiano.

From the start of the school year until Oct. 16, athletic programs in York County have been idled because the county had been coded “yellow” by the Maine Department of Education, meaning the threat of transmission of the coronavirus was elevated. For nearly a month, while teams around the state began their partial season, York County could not even practice.

So a bit of rain sure wasn’t going to keep Kennebunk or Biddeford off the Waterhouse Field artificial surface.

Kennebunk, returning several key players from last year’s 10-4-2 team, scored twice early in the first half and went on to win, 2-1.

“This was the first game we got to play in like nine months so despite the weather everyone was still having a good time,” said Kennebunk senior midfielder Sam Tartre, who banged in the first goal of the game in the second minute, depositing a rebound off a shot by teammate Alex Reed.

Both teams are hopeful they can squeeze in six games prior to Nov. 14, the final day of the fall season as determined by the Maine Principals’ Association. There are no soccer playoffs this year because of the state’s restriction on playing games against opponents from different regions.

“Even though I know it’s nothing close to a regular season it still felt just as fun a time to go out there with my friends and compete in a hard-fought game with Biddeford so I enjoyed it, every minute of it and I’m sure my teammates did too,” Tartre said.

Kennebunk sophomore Matthew Duncan made it 2-0 in the 13th minute when his heavy shot caromed off a Biddeford defender and past keeper Brady Ham.

While the deeper, more experienced Kennebunk team controlled most of the play, Biddeford’s defense held up the rest of the way. Ham made several saves and behind solid play from defenders like center back Abraham Lincoln, Jumerson Coche and Nicholas Reissfelder. Gradually, the Tigers were also able to force some quick counter attacks.

For Biddeford, which lost every game last season, a goal by Lincoln, a senior captain, with 3:52 to play was a just reward. Off a corner kick, Lincoln found some space while Kennebunk scrambled to clear the ball.

“There was no defender on me so I just figured, why not bang it right there?” Lincoln said.

“We’re not so lucky the rain came down but I was happy with how we played,” Lincoln said. “I was impressed. Yeah, we did way better than last year.”


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