(Fryeburg ME) In the midst of the Fryeburg Fair and some fine foliage a pretty good girls’ soccer game broke out.
Visiting Gray-New Gloucester took the lead for the third and final time with 3.5 seconds left to defeat Fryeburg Academy, 3-2, on a cloudy Tuesday afternoon of Western Maine Conference Class B soccer.
Freshman Emma Woods headed in the game-winner off of a throw-in by senior Maria Valente in the closing seconds.
It was a tough loss for the (2-4-2) Raiders. The home team was scored on early in each half but recovered each time. Kaylin Delaney’s penalty kick produced the final tie with less than five minutes left in the game.
With no overtime period played during the regular season, both teams pressed for the win in the final minutes. In the closing minute, GNG’s Kaelyn Woods kept the ball in play down the right sidelines before the Raiders kicked the ball out-of-bounds with under fifteen seconds remaining. Maria Valente had to really hustle to get from her defensive spot to the throw-in attempt. She did and had the ball was in the air with few seconds left. The ball came into the near-side of the box area with plenty of steam on it. Emma Woods leaped high and redirected Maria’s throw-in to the far corner of the goal.
This was Emma’s second goal of the game and 8th of the 2014 season. Maria’s assist was her 5th of the season and her 5th assist against FA over the past three seasons.
Gray-New Gloucester (4-4) had two of their goals set up by junior Sarah Giggey’s corner kicks.
Both goalies (GNG-Zoe Adams, FA-Makayla Cooper) faced numerous dangerous shots. The most dangerous, of the dangerous, were long rips by the Raiders’ Esme Hernendez.
Esme did get a goal (14:15) in the first half. A throw-in by Lexi L’Heureux-Carland from the left looked to be headed (I was down the other end of the field) by either Kaylin Delaney or Julia Quinn. The ball ended up with Esme alone in front.
Emma Woods headed in the opening goal of the game (33:07). The freshman was parked in the middle and GK Makayla Cooper was centered in the net. Emma was able to head the ball down and past Makayla to the FA goalie’s left.
The Patriots clicked early (36:22) in the second half. Sarah Giggey sent a corner kick in from the left that found Maria Valente in traffic near the far post for yet another headed goal.
As the minutes wound down in the second half the Raiders turned up the pressure, especially Julia Quinn and Anna Manahor, and got what they needed at 4:52………….a penalty shot.
From where I was standing it looked as if defender Caitlin Holmquist got a hand on the ball in the box.
Kaylin Delaney took the PK and scored with a shot that went in on the left after caroming off the goal post.
Later Emma Woods, from Maria Valente, would collect the game-winner giving GNG their sixth straight victory over Fryeburg Academy.
Both teams resume play on Thursday at 6PM. FA will be at Wells while GNG will host Poland.
A key to the victory for GNG was the return of senior Emily Hotham to the Patriots defense. I am not certain when the injured defender returned but I saw the Patriots without her in their loss to Lake Region. Her presence this afternoon made a difference.
I like to arrive at games at least a half-hour early. Good thing this afternoon since the scheduled 3:30PM start turned out to be a 3PM start.
If you’re a defender and the pressure is on, it is usually a good idea to kick the ball out of bounds. This gives the defense a chance to set up in front of the goalie. That strategy can backfire, however, when a team plays Gray-New Gloucester. Why? Because Maria Valente takes the sideline throw-ins for GNG and is strong enough to throw the ball into the box almost every time. Granted the defense is organized but so also is the Patriots offense. With plenty of bodies in the area and the ball in the air, bad things can happen, and they did today for FA in the closing seconds.
The speed and hustle of Ori Inirio was noticeable. Some forwards run hard when the ball in near them and then trot or walk. Not Ori, she seemed to run from end to end. She had a couple of pretty good chances as a result.
(I can add/subtract with this blog so if I messed up something let me know and I will change it.)
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)