High school boys soccer

Red Eddies again prove one goal better than Windjammers

In rainy, hard-fought Class A quarterfinal playoff game, Camden Hills comes up short
By Ken Waltz | Oct 27, 2017
Photo by: Ken Waltz Camden Hills' Ben Owre, left, and Edward Little's Spencer Frahn vie for the ball on Oct. 26 during a high school boys soccer game at Bates College in Lewiston. The host Red Eddies of Auburn beat the Windjammers of Rockport 1-0 in a Class A North quarterfinal playoff game.

Lewiston — The weather was wet and miserable, but the high school boys soccer play on the artificial turf of Garcelon Field at Bates College on Thursday afternoon between Camden Hills and Edward Little was topnotch. Exciting. Emotional. Contested. Competitive. Physical.

And, after 80 intense minutes of toe-to-toe and head-to-head action on Oct. 26, the pitch battle ended exactly how the regular-season game between the Windjammers of Rockport and Red Eddies of Auburn did.

Namely, with the hosts holding on for a tough, hard-fought, 1-0 regional quarterfinal playoff victory and the opportunity to advance in the Class A North playoffs.

Click for photos from this game.

Watch video below.

After a scoreless first half, the Red Eddies netted a goal early in the second half and held that advantage to defeat the Windjammers 1-0 on a day that included persistent, soaking rain and gloomy, gray weather.

The game was pushed back a day and to a different venue due to the heavy rain that hit the state on Wednesday, Oct. 25. And even though the rain continued on Thursday, the game was played on the turf, which was saturated and somewhat slick, but certainly playable at Bates College

Edward Little improved to 10-4-1, while the Windjammers finished at 8-4-3.

The Red Eddies also defeated the Windjammers 1-0 in the opponents' lone regular-season meeting on Sept. 28 in Auburn.

With Thursday's postseason victory, Edward Little will play at No. 2 Lewiston, its twin cities' neighbors from across the bridge, in the semifinals on Saturday, Oct. 28. The Blue Devils (11-2-2) beat No. 7 Brunswick (7-7-1) 4-1 in the quarterfinals.

At Bates College on Thursday, Tyler Morin scored the lone goal of the game with 21:05 left in the second half as he drilled a shot into the far left corner of the goal and out of the reach of standout Windjammer senior keeper Lucas Boetsch.

After a ball caromed around the penalty area, Morin stroked a ball through a crowd and into the back corner of the net for the game-winning tally.

The teams had a handful of strong scoring opportunities, as the Red Eddies mustered a few more thrusts to the goal, only to be thwarted, time after time, by a sensational final performance from Boetsch (10 saves on 12 shots).

Boetsch, an anchor and stalwart of the Camden Hills defense for four years, made one sensational play after another to keep the game in reach for the Windjammers.

Veteran Windjammer coach Ryan Hurley said Boetsch "showed his class making several highlight-reel saves" to keep the Windjammers in the game until the end.

Edward Little finished with a 4-3 edge in corner kicks in a game between evenly-matched opponents.

One of the Boetsch's best saves of the game came with 12:47 left in the first half when he and Edward Little's Ahmed Abadir met in the air in front of the goalmouth as Boetsch held on despite the collision.

"It was a heck of a game," Boetsch said. "I'm obviously emotional that it is all over and that was my last high school soccer game. I'm incredibly proud of the guys, they played their hearts out and that's all anyone can ask for.

"That was a talented team [we played] and they won it fair and square. The goal they scored was an absolute bullet right into the bottom left corner. I dove for it but just couldn't get there in time."

Players on both teams consistently demonstrated tremendous overall ball, possession, footwork, head and passing skills. But perhaps most impressive talented displayed was the gritty toughness and overall speed of the student-athletes, who put on a rain-soaked, 80-minute turf for the hardy fans sitting or standing under umbrellas or canopies.

The Windjammers had a golden chance to grab a 1-0 advantage with 11:50 left in the first half when Ben Owre was knocked to turf in the box by Red Eddie goalie Noah Sterling (7 saves on 10 shots) and given a subsequent penalty kick.

Windjammer Marshall Merriam took the kick, but his blast was stopped by Sterling.

Hurley said Edward Little "started the game on the front foot and had the Windjammers on their heels during the opening stretch." The Windjammers "clawed their way back into the game and were rewarded for their efforts when Ben Owre was taken down in the penalty area and a penalty kick was awarded."

The coach said Merriam "struck the ball low and hard" but Sterling made the save to preserve the scoreless tie.

Camden Hills did have scoring chances throughout the game, but especially put intense pressure on Sterling in the final minutes in a last-ditch effort to knot the score and potentially force overtime.

But Sterling made at least one tough foot save to keep a shot out of the corner of the net late in the second half, but, for the most part, the Windjammers were unable to make the connections and subsequent shot attempts to really test the keeper.

The Windjammers are a relatively young team, with only six seniors — Boetsch, Merriam, Elliot Matlack, Will Nickerson, Andy Pitcairn and Jack Nathan.

"I can't express enough how much fun I have had throughout my four years of varsity soccer," Boetsch said. "Special thanks to coach Hurley. He showed me the ropes and I developed a very close relationship with him. He has taught me so much and got me to the next level."

"The boys played hard until the end tonight, but the ball just didn't bounce our way," said coach Hurley. "Lucas turned in yet another exceptional performance in net, making the extraordinary seem normal.

"We had a really wonderful season and the growth of the team from Aug. 14 until now was phenomenal. It's hard to see this remarkable journey come to a close. We are grateful for the efforts of our seniors: Lucas Boetsch, Marshall Merriam, Andy Pitcairn, Elliot Matlack, Will Nickerson and Jack Nathan, they have left their mark on our program and we will miss them dearly. On behalf of the coaching staff and players, thanks to all the fans who traveled to the game today and supported us out in the rain and during the entirety of our fine season."

Camden Hills at Edward Little boys soccer
Edward Little hosts Camden Hills on Oct. 26 in high school boys soccer at Bates College in Lewiston. (Video by: Ken Waltz and Holly Vanorse Spicer)
Camden Hills' Hugh Costigan, left, and Edward Little's Ahmed Abadir, right, among others. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Hugh Costigan, left, and Edward Little's Ahmed Abadir, right, among others. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Lucas Boetsch. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Andrew Pitcairn. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Lucase Boetsch. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Andrew Pitcairn. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Hugh Costigan, left, and Edward Little's Ahmed Abadir. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Quinn Brown. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Bryce Tyler, left, Havana Lyman (5) and Lucas Boetsch, back, along with Edward Little's Ahmed Abadir. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Ben Owre, front, and Elliot Matlack. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Ben Owre (8) and Elliot Matlack (28), along with Edward Little's Jamal Issack (9) and Spencer Frahn. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Ben Owre, left, and Edward Little's Spencer Frahn. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Max Moore, back, and Edward Little's Tyler Morin. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Vincent Janusky, left, and Quinn Brown, right, along with Edward Little's Alex Thompson, middle, and Tyler Morin. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Hardy fans in the stands. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Quinn Brown, left, and Edward Little's Tyler Morin. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Marshall Merriam (11), along with Edward Little's Ibn Khalid, left, Christian Beliveau (3) and Jamaine Luizzo, among another. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Elliot Matlack, front, and Edward Little's Patrick Luizzo. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Andrew Pitcairn, left, and Edward Little's Nicholas Hathaway. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Vincent Janusky, front, among others. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Lucas Boetsch jumps for a ball. Windjammers Elliot Matlack and Edward Little's Mnawer Dubai also are pictured. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Marshall Merriam, left, and Michael Blackwell. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Marshall Merriam right, and Bryce Tyler, left, along with Edward Little's Alex Thompson. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Andrew Pitcairn. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Hugh Costigan, left, and Havana Lyman (5), as well as Edward Little's Tyler Morin, front, and Ahmed Abadir. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Bryce Tyler, front. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Ben Owre. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Marshall Merriam (11) takes a penalty kick. In back is Windjammer Ben Owre, left, and Edward Little's Alex Thompson (11) and Ibn Khalid. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Teammates congratulate goalie Noah Sterling, right, after his penalty kick save. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Hugh Costigan, right, and Max Moore (4), along with Edward Little's Mnawer Dubai. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Edward Little's Patrick Luizzo (19) and Camden Hills' Vincent Janusky. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Lucas Boetsch, left, and Andrew Pitcairn. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Bryce Tyler, left, and Edward Little's Ibn Khalid. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills players gather on the field before the start of the second half. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Ben Owre. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Ben Owre. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Ben Owre, left, and Edward Little's Jacob Kyajohnian. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Vincent Janusky, left, and Edward Little's Jamaine Luizzo. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Lucas Boetsch. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Vincent Janusky. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Michael Blackwell. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Edward Little's Barrack Abdraba, left, and Camden Hills' Andrew Pitcairn. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
The game-winning goal sails just out of the reach of Camden Hills goalie Lucas Boetsch. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Edward Little's Ibn Khalid (21) and Jacob Kyajohnian, right, celebrate a goal by Tyler Morin, middle. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Edward Little players celebrate a goal by Tyler Morin (1). (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Edward Little players celebrate a goal by Tyler Morin, middle. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
From left, Camden Hills' Anrew Pitcairn, Hugh Costigan and Bryce Tyler. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills' Elliot Matlack (28), Vincent Janusky, left, and Hugh Costigan. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Edward Little's Ibn Khalid (21) flies above the crowed near Camden Hills goalie Lucas Boetsch. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
Camden Hills coach Ryan Hurley, front middle, with his players on the sideline. (Photo by: Ken Waltz)
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