Second seed Cape Elizabeth defeated third seed Lincoln Academy 4-0 in a Class B South semifinal boys soccer game on Thursday, Nov. 2. The Capers earned the right to face top-seeded Yarmouth in the B South regional final.
Cape Elizabeth got off to a fast start, controlling the ball and pressuring the Eagles with three dangerous shots saved by Lincoln Academy goalie Marcello Endrizzi in the first five minutes. The Capers continued to manage the ball throughout the half with crisp passing, and they fired off a steady round of shots that were either skillfully blocked by Eagles defenders or saved by Endrizzi.
The Eagles had their best scoring chance of the half 15 minutes in when Casey Duncan broke free on a breakaway, but collided with Capers goalie Raef Curran who had come rushing out of the net. A foul was called on Curran and a direct kick awarded from just outside the penalty area, but it was not the penalty kick that the Eagles were hoping for and the direct kick was blocked.
With the ball in the Eagles’ defensive end most of the half, it seemed only a matter of time before the Capers would get a lucky bounce. Sam Cochran put the Capers on the board with 19 minutes remaining in the half when he booted a loose ball into the net during a scramble.
The Capers used their speed, quickness, and ball skills to frustrate the Eagles.
“They’re a really good team, and are exceptionally fit and fast,” said Lincoln Academy head coach Jeff Burroughs. “We played hard and contained them in the first half, and at that point we still had a good chance.”
Endrizzi was very busy in goal, making nine saves in the first half to keep the Eagles in striking range. Meanwhile, Curran stopped the only two shots the Eagles mustered onto the Cape Elizabeth net.
The Capers offense had better luck in the second half. Five minutes in, Keegan Lathrop banged in a rebound during a chaotic moment in front of Endrizzi to boost the lead to 2-0 and restore Cape Elizabeth’s momentum.
Cochran scored his second goal of the match five minutes later when he beat a defender running to the right to start a breakaway but then tricked Endrizzi when he shot the ball to the far left corner. Cochran celebrated with a cartwheel and a backflip, which fired up the crowd and his team.
“Number 10 is a dynamic player and he got us a bit unhinged,” said Burroughs about Cochran.
Down 3-0, the Eagles’ offense came to life, with Conor Cass and Pablo Iglesias Martin getting hard shots on Curran. However, Harry Converse scored on a hard low shot into the corner with 15 minutes remaining to extend the lead to 4-0, ending any hopes of the Eagles’ comeback.
Endrizzi ended the match with 17 saves. Curran had five for Cape Elizabeth to earn the shutout.
The fourth Capers goal didn’t stop the large, enthusiastic Eagles crowd from continuing to cheer on their team until the clock – and the season – ticked down to the final buzzer. It appeared that Eagles fans outnumbered the home crowd, including dozens of supporters that traveled south on a Lincoln Academy school bus.
“We had a great season and I’m proud of our team,” said Burroughs. “It was wonderful to see all the Eagles fans that came to support us. We’re continuing to build a strong soccer program.”