GRAY — It was a loss that has lingered.

It was one of those bad days and frustrating outcomes that can be hard to forget. And when the Gray-New Gloucester boys’ soccer team drew Poland in Saturday’s Western B preliminary game, the Patriots made sure they remembered.

“We didn’t feel that day was our best showing,” said Gray-NG coach Andy Higgins, whose team lost to Poland 2-1 back in September. “We had that in the back of our minds. If you ask the guys if there was one game they wanted to have back, it would be the Poland game. When the Heal Points went final, we were pretty excited to seed them on the other side.”

The seventh-ranked Patriots produced a spirited effort and avenged that regular-season stumble with a 2-0 win over the 10th-seeded Knights Saturday afternoon. Gray-NG advances to the Western B quarterfinals to play Greely next Wednesday. The Patriots lost to the Rangers 1-0.

“That pretty much got us going,” said Bryce Hayman, a freshman midfielder. “It was a tough game the last time. We wanted to bring it to them even harder. We were pumped. We definitely wanted to beat them, especially with home field and all the fans.”

Hayman set up an Austin Carson goal in the first half and then added insurance in the second half. Poland (3-10-2) struggled to counter and managed just four shots on goal.

“We’ve struggled all year getting our offense together and possessing the ball,” Poland coach Kris Wright said. “It’s something we focused on and at times. We showed much better poise than we did today. They played with high pressure and played very quick to the ball today. They didn’t give us a whole lot of time to sit back and think about things. Hats off to them. They played a great game and they earned the win.”

It was the first playoff game for the Poland boys’ program. The Knights had an uphill challenge with a short bench. Poland had two starters and a sub out with concussions and two others out of action because of injuries.

“We started a little short sided, but no excuses there,” Wright said. “We have to step on the field and play with a tremendous amount of intensity. This is our first trip to the playoffs. I don’t know that that we weren’t a little intimidated by that.”

The Patriots (6-7-2) came out strong from the start and put the pressure on Poland right away. That set the tone for an aggressive Gray-NG attack that had the Knights on their heels most of the day.

“We knew we had to be the aggressors and we needed to set the tone,” Higgins said. “We wanted to win the 50-50 balls and be compact in the midfield and having our backs stay connected and make it difficult for them.”

Poland struggled to get any kind of counter attack going because the Patriots would win the ball in the midfield and start another offensive rush.

It was an attack out of the midfield led by Hayman that set up the first goal just 9:30 into the game. Hayman made a rush down the middle and fired a shot from the outside. It was saved by Poland keeper Zack Lowe, but Carson was crashing the net from the right side and pounced on the rebound.

“I was pretty psyched on that,” Hayman said. “There was no pressure on me. So I just took the shot. That first one is a big one. It got our confidence up.”

Lowe finished with 12 saves in a fine effort in net for the Knights. Poland did start to get some offense going late in the first half. Shawn Murphy had Poland’s only shot in the half with 10 minutes left. The Knights started to get some sort of counter going but couldn’t produce any more shots or maintain any kind of pressure.

In the second half, Gray-NG outshot Poland 13-3 and kept a continuous offensive push. The Patriots had shots hit the post, hit a defender in front of an open net and had one hit the keeper as Gray-NG peppered Poland with shots.

Hayman made it 2-0 with 25:45 left. Just moments after the Patriots had hit the post, Hayman collected a loose ball in the midfield, pushed forward and fired a shot from the outside.

“We had to keep taking shots,” Hayman said. “That was a huge goal. They could put theirs heads down after that. That was a big advantage.”

The Patriots are now 4-1-2 since that loss to the Knights and have scored 22 goals in those seven games.

“Hats off to our kids,” Higgins said. “They came out hard, played hard and worked hard.”

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