Waynflete senior Luca Antolini buries a second half penalty kick in the Flyers’ 8-1 victory over Lisbon in Wednesday’s Class C South quarterfinal.

PORTLAND—Balance, hunger and talent are a tough combination to beat and the defending state champion Waynflete Flyers have those ingredients in abundance, as the Lisbon Greyhounds discovered, much to their chagrin, Wednesday afternoon at Fore River Fields in a Class C South boys’ soccer quarterfinal.

The sixth-ranked Greyhounds packed it in on defense and stymied the third-seeded Flyers for awhile, but with 14:26 to go in the first half, a header from senior captain Ian McClure-Chute put Waynflete on top for good.

Junior Pat Shaw doubled the lead in the 36th minute and with 48 seconds on the first half clock, junior Aidan Kieffer buried a shot from 25-yards out for a 3-0 advantage.

The Flyers kept the pedal to the metal in the second half, as goals from senior captain Oliver Burdick, senior captain Luca Antolini (on a penalty kick) and Kieffer extended the lead to 6-0.

Lisbon got on the board with 11:43 to play, on a goal from senior Jack Tibbetts, but down the stretch, Waynflete got tallies from seniors Max Ryan and Wyatt Winson to put the finishing touches on an impressive 8-1 victory.

The Flyers got two goals from Kieffer, goals from seven players in all, as well as three assists from junior Joey Ansel-Mullen, as they improved to 13-2, ended the Greyhounds’ season at 10-6 and advanced to host No. 7 Traip Academy (10-4-2) in the semifinal round Friday at a time to be announced.

“All season long, we’ve been a deep team,” Kieffer said. “We think anyone on the field can score at any time. We work a lot on finishing in practice and today it showed.”

High hopes

Waynflete didn’t lose a game en route to the 2018 Class C state championship and the Flyers only lost to the top two Class B South teams this autumn.

Waynflete started the 2019 campaign with wins over host York (2-0), at home over Sacopee Valley (8-0) and a come-from-behind 3-2 triumph at Traip Academy. A 1-0 loss at Greely then snapped the Flyers’ unbeaten streak at 21 games. Waynflete bounced back to down visiting Cape Elizabeth (3-1), visiting Traip Academy (5-0), host North Yarmouth Academy, the defending Class D champion (2-0), visiting Gray-New Gloucester (6-0), host Wells (8-2), visiting Fryeburg Academy (5-0), host Sacopee Valley (3-1) and visiting St. Dom’s (3-1) before closing with a 3-0 home loss to Yarmouth.

Lisbon, meanwhile, started the year 8-1, then lost four of its final five regular season games. In Saturday’s preliminary round, the Greyhounds had no trouble with No. 11 Dirigo, rolling, 9-0, to advance.

Lisbon and Waynflete don’t play in the regular season. The teams met twice previously in the playoffs, with the Flyers prevailing, 7-2, in the 2013 Western C preliminary round and the Greyhounds taking a 1-0 (6-4 penalty kicks) decision in the 2016 Class C South semifinals.

Despite the recent rain, Waynflete’s field was playable Wednesday and under pleasant 61-degree skies, the Flyers demonstrated why they’re so difficult to match up against.

The Flyers’ onslaught started early, as McClure-Chute sent a header wide off a corner kick in the third minute.

After junior Ben Adey had a pair of long shots saved by Lisbon sophomore goalkeeper Sean Moore, Burdick hit the side netting, McClure-Chute was denied and freshman Matt Adey missed just wide.

After the Greyhounds missed their first shot, as sophomore Hunter Brissette sent the ball high and wide, Waynflete returned to the attack, earned a corner kick and with 14:26 to go before halftime, Antolini fed McClure-Chute, who headed the ball into the goal for a 1-0 lead.

“It took us awhile to get going,” said longtime Flyers’ coach Brandon Salway. “It was more game rust than anything. Lisbon played the strategy that gave them the best chance and they hung in it for awhile. Going into the game, I was worried about being flat. It took us awhile to get into it, but once we started moving the ball, we were alright. Having a lot of bodies in the box can be frustrating, but we stayed with it.”

After Shaw sent a header just high, then fired a shot that hit the side netting, Shaw got another chance with 4:07 on the first half clock, winning the ball in traffic, then beating Moore just inside the right post. Ansel-Mullen got his first assist and the lead was 2-0.

It appeared the Flyers would take that comfortable margin to the half, but with 48 seconds remaining, Kieffer made it 3-0, taking a pass from Ansel-Mullen and ripping a shot up top from 25-yards out that sailed over Moore and into the net.

“Coach told me to go forward if they packed in because the space would be in front,” Kieffer said. “Joey played it to me and I had time. I saw the keeper shift to the right, so I shot left and I hit it pretty good.

“We’ve seen that (defensive) style a few times this year. It can be frustrating. Earlier in the season, we might have panicked, but today, we knew to be patient.”

“That was a huge goal,” Salway said.

Waynflete had a 9-1 edge in shots and a 4-0 corner kick advantage in the first 40 minutes and things got even more lopsided in the second half.

Any remaining doubt was dispelled early in the second half, as after McClure-Chute twice just missed and Burdick shot high, Burdick took a pass from Ansel-Mullen in the box, then finished with 35:12 to go for a 4-0 advantage.

The fifth goal came with 24:27 on the clock and was the only one that didn’t come in the normal run of play.

After being taken down in the box, Antolini took a penalty kick and beat a diving Moore to the left corner to make it 5-0.

With 18:28 on the clock, Kieffer scored his second goal, taking a pass from junior Owen Anderson and finishing for a 6-0 lead.

Lisbon broke through with 11:43 on the clock, as off a corner kick, Tibbetts headed home a ball from senior D.J. Douglass, but with 9:59 remaining, after a nice save by Moore on a shot from sophomore Arnau Phillips-Vila, Ryan was there to bury the rebound.

Then, with 50 seconds to go, Winson beat Moore to a loose ball in the box and finished to account for the 8-1 final score.

“We wanted to prove a point in the second half and put out a solid 40 minutes,” Kieffer said.

“We scored one goal in the last minute of the first half and one in the last minute of the second half,” said Salway. “You have to keep playing until the end. Those are great goals to get and you don’t want to be on the other side of those because they’re deflating.

“A lot of seniors scored today and that was nice to see them contribute. We wanted more intensity in the second half. It’s a quiet bunch, but they’re intense and we needed to pick it up. It’s nice to play here and have time to settle in.”

The Flyers out-shot the Greyhounds, 21-4, got three saves from senior goalkeeper Aidan Carlisle and had an 8-1 advantage in corner kicks.

Moore stopped 13 shots for Lisbon.

Next hurdle

Waynflete beat Traip Academy twice this year, 3-2 in Kittery and 5-0 at home. The Flyers and Rangers have no playoff history.

“We feel very confident in ourselves,” Kieffer said. “We think we can play with anyone in the state. If we play the way we can play, I don’t think anyone can get in our way. We’re really hungry. We graduated some leaders last year, but this year’s seniors are good at motivating us and Coach knows what to tell us to do.”

“We’ll see what the next round brings,” Salway said. “Winning the first one any way possible is always nice. Traip we know well. It’ll be a challenge. It’ll be tough in the semifinals. We’ll have to step up our game.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.


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