Clarke leads Ellsworth boys’ soccer to OT win over GSA

first_img Ellsworth runners compete in virtual Boston Marathon – September 16, 2020 Mike MandellMike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at [email protected] MPA approves golf, XC, field hockey, soccer; football, volleyball moved to spring – September 10, 2020 Latest Posts Latest posts by Mike Mandell (see all)center_img Hospice volunteers help families navigate grief and find hope – September 12, 2020 ELLSWORTH — The moment didn’t unfold as Colby Clarke anticipated, but it ended with him being mobbed by fans and teammates.With a little over a minute remaining in the first overtime period of the Ellsworth boys’ soccer team’s home game against George Stevens Academy on Monday, Clarke carefully paced inside the penalty area as he awaited a free kick. He was expecting to keep his eye on the goalkeeper and make sure the kick reached an open teammate.Instead, the kick took a funny bounce on the way through. It landed in front of Clarke, and he was able to make just enough contact to roll it past the GSA goalkeeper and into the back of the net. An Ellsworth team that hadn’t led at any point during the game had won, and Clarke and his teammates sprinted up the hill on the east side of the football stadium to celebrate.Ellsworth’s Brad Smith (front) and GSA’s Erik Taylor-Lash battle for the ball during the first half of a high school boys’ soccer game Sept. 12 in Ellsworth. Ellsworth won the game 3-2. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELLClarke’s goal with 53 seconds left in overtime gave Ellsworth a 3-2 victory over GSA on Monday night. It was the team’s first overtime win of the season.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder text“I was just going to play around the goalkeeper to make sure Trent Goodman or one of our other players could get it, and it bounced through,” Clarke said. “It went right to me, and I had space to hit it in.”Merely getting to overtime was hard for Ellsworth. Early goals from John Larson and Taylor Schildroth had given GSA a 2-0 lead less than 10 minutes into the game, and the visitors maintained that advantage going into halftime. Just like it did in its 2-1 overtime loss to Old Town last week, Ellsworth was forced to chase the game.A Carter Frank goal with 32:14 left in the second half got Ellsworth back in it, and it was less than a minute later when the referee awarded Ellsworth a penalty kick after a GSA handball. Clarke stepped up to take the kick and blasted it to the goalkeeper’s left to tie the game. With just under three minutes left in regulation, the home team nearly won when a shot that seemed destined for the back of the net was instead saved in the top corner to send the game to overtime.Both teams wasted good opportunities early in overtime to win the game, but Ellsworth (3-1) didn’t waste its second chance. Clarke’s slow, rolling shot seemed as if it took an eternity to edge past the goal line, but it was a feeling of elation for the Ellsworth players once it finally did.“We lost a similar game last week against Old Town, and it was such a relief that this one ended differently,” Ellsworth coach Paul Lock said. “It was a tough game, but that was what good soccer looks like.”That loss to Old Town a week prior was one that took a toll on Ellsworth’s players. The team had scored a goal with minutes left in the game after trailing for most of it but saw it all go for naught when the Coyotes scored in overtime to win. Monday night had a similar feeling, and the Eagles made sure the outcome was a different one.As the Ellsworth players left the student section to return to the bench, Clarke, Goodman and Trent Mahon wrapped arms. The three of them were out of breath as they walked back to the sideline together. After a long game, they had nothing left to give.Ellsworth boys’ soccer players Trent Goodman (left), Colby Clarke (middle) and Trent Mahon link arms after celebrating Clarke’s game-winning goal against GSA on Sept. 12 in Ellsworth. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELL“The thing about these guys is they always find a way to keep going,” Lock said. “They don’t give up on any ball or any play, and they got rewarded for that tonight.”For GSA (2-1), this loss was hard to take. The team had failed to take advantage of a breakaway opportunity early in overtime, and Ellsworth didn’t let it have another chance to come away with a road win.Even after Ellsworth’s players had left the stadium, a few GSA players were still on the bench. Some stared at the night sky in disbelief as they tried to process the defeat, and there was little more than silence to be heard.“This was a great chance for us to earn a win against a good team, and we were ready for that,” GSA head coach Mark Ensworth said. “It’s obviously disappointing, but give credit to Ellsworth. They’re a team that gets tougher as the game goes on, and they showed that tonight.”Ellsworth’s next game will be on the road against the Hermon Hawks (1-2-1) at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15. GSA faces the Dexter Tigers (0-4) at home at 4 p.m. that day. Biolast_img

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