Ethan Brochu of NYA, center, battles with Ben Johnston, right, and Alexx Roy of Richmond during Friday’s Class D South semifinal boys soccer game in Richmond. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

RICHMOND — The grass was wet and spots of mud were frequent across the field on Friday afternoon at Richmond High School. That didn’t matter for the North Yarmouth Academy boys soccer team, which was playing away from the friendly confines of their home turf.

Matt Powers scored to tie things up with just under 20 minutes remaining and Hans-Erik Jerosch fired a rocket into the right side of the net just five minutes later as No. 3 NYA beat No. 2 Richmond 2-1 in a Class D South semifinal game in Richmond.

The Panthers (10-4-2) will face No. 1 Islesboro in the Class D South regional final Wednesday at Messalonskee High School in Oakland.

“It was a huge momentum switch to get a goal back as quick as we did,” said Powers, a sophomore midfielder. “We knew we were going to have to grind it out, we all thought it was going to be a close game.”

The two sides played twice in the regular season, with the Panthers sweeping the regular-season series, 1-0 in Richmond and 5-0 in Yarmouth. Despite the regular-season success, NYA coach Matt Williams knew his team was in for a challenge.

“This is such a tough place to play,” said Williams. “I thought we responded well to adversity when we needed to and played a very complete game in the second half.”

Max Viselli of Richmond, left and NYA’s Cole Lambert battle for positioning during Friday’s Class D South semifinal boys soccer game in Richmond. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

Richmond, which beat No. 7 Searsport in the quarterfinal round on Tuesday at McMann Stadium in Bath, finishes 11-5-0.

“I thought the kids played extremely well and hard,” said Richmond coach Peter Gardner. “There were a few moments in the second half that they (NYA) had us on our heels and ultimately that was the difference.”

The Bobcats found the goal first just over seven minutes into the second half. A pretty header when facing away from the goal by Chance Taylor was deflected by an NYA defender and into the back of the net to put Richmond up 1-0.

The lead lasted for about 13 minutes.

“I think at the beginning of the year we probably wouldn’t have won that game,” said Williams. “That shows the improvement we’ve made and the resilience of this group, it’s the little things that give you an edge in the postseason.”

Powers scored after NYA was awarded a corner kick. The ball bounced around for a moment after a cross before Powers got his head on it and pushed it past the arms of Richmond goalie Connor Vashon (13 saves).

“My teammates set it up for me, but that was a good feeling,” Powers added.

Jerosch gave the Panthers the lead for good five minutes later. After the Panthers were awarded another corner kick, the ball rolled to Jerosch who was running toward the net just outside the penalty box. He fired the shot on the roll, screaming into the back of the net for the 2-1 lead.

“We made a few adjustments at halftime,” said Williams. “One of them was moving him (Jerosch) up from center back to the midfield. I’m glad he was there at that moment.”

Richmond had chances toward the end, none better than when Taylor found some room in the penalty box right in front of NYA goalie Michael Belleau (8 saves). Taylor went for the left side of the net, but Belleau denied it.

“We had a lot of young players get some great experience this season,” added Gardner. “I’m proud of the team this season, we had a special group and made a good run.”

Related Headlines

Comments are not available on this story.