FA boys soccer - Jacob Adams

Fryeburg Academy freshman Jacob Adams (left) and teammate Pablo Lozano celebrate a recent goal at home. The Raiders hope to have a few more celebrations in the upcoming playoffs. (JULIAN ZHU PHOTO)

FRYEBURG — The Fryeburg Academy boys’ soccer team (6-7-1) came oh-so-close to earning a home playoff game before dropping a thrilling 3-2 loss to Freeport (8-3-3) on Oct. 15.

With tourney qualification then in doubt, the Raiders took care of business with a 2-1 win over Lakes Region (2-8-4) in a makeup game on Monday, guaranteeing the Raiders the 10th or 11th seeding in Class B Western Maine tournament action. The Raiders will learn their fate, and playoff destination, by Thursday.

Several conference teams still have regular season matches to play. Coach Bob Hodgman-Burns ("HB") predicts that travel to Gardiner (6-6-2) or Gray-New Gloucester (7-4-2), is the most likely scenario for Saturday's preliminary round tournament game.

The Raiders gave the Falcons of Freeport all they could handle on Oct. 15, but just ran out of time trying to earn an equalizer in the waning moments of play. The Fryeburg was forced to play catch-up all day, conceding an early soft goal following a defensive lapse. But the Raiders countered to tie before the first stanza was halfway through, when Louis Sehr outmuscled the Falcons defense and created space to bury a goal to create a 1-1 tie. Throughout the first half, HB felt his 11 possessed the ball well, and the defense was on its game, save for the early mistake. The

Falcons came out in the second half on a mission, finishing two goals in rapid succession to take a 3-1 lead.

Gil Sehr quickly narrowed the gap to 3-2 with a classy finish, and coming down the stretch, the Raiders applied all sorts of pressure in the final 15 minutes, including several scoring bids that were denied or just went wide. HB termed the match "one of our better efforts. We played up to the challenge (level of a quality opponent).”

On Monday, the same could not be said, as HB felt his side played down to the level of an opponent the Raiders had tied 2-2 back on Sept. 17. It was not until 44 seconds remained that the Raiders earned the win when Louis Sehr outmuscled a Laker in the box to gain space to slot home a left footed game-winner. HB credited the Lakers for providing stiff opposition, and playing to their strengths: long, direct attacks, and physical defending. It all made for a less aesthetically pleasing game, but the Raiders finished their chances at important moments. Lloyd Djossre was quick to pounce on a rebound which led to the 1-1 tie score at halftime.

HB cited stopper backs Kyle Mercier and Eloy Temicobras for solid games, along with wing back Will Galligan and goalkeeper Chandler Adams.

After a two-year absence from postseason play, the Raiders will provide dangerous opposition for any opponent. With several dorm students arriving late to the team, the Raiders have been a work in progress all season, integrating new players and finding a rotation that works.

HB has no qualms about traveling for the preliminary round: “Hopefully we can continue to rise to the level of quality competition, and in the playoffs, everybody is good."

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