HOPE — The Lincolnville booters saved their best game of the season for the last one, but fell just short against the Hope Hawks 3-1 on the road Wednesday, October 20 in a Busline League semifinal showdown.
They started at a disadvantage when the Hawks won the toss thereby securing a gusty wind at their backs that helped them dominate the first half.
Even so, Lynx sweeper Liam Day-Lynch came within an ace of scoring the first goal with a brilliant drive from the Lincolnville defensive end that saw him break through into the open only to be denied by the charging Hope keeper.
Despite the pressure, the Lynx defense held steady until the 23:37 mark before the Hawks capitalized on an overextended defense to gain the only score of the first half.
Hope came out strong again in the second half and grabbed an early insurance goal at 35:06 when Day-Lynch got caught up field by a missing boot, and the Hawks offense swept in to take advantage of a man down LCS defense.
That fired the Lynx up, and despite the fact that the wind had died to nothing, they proceeded to dominate play for the rest of the half fully testing Hope’s defensive capabilities.
The Lynx were able to capitalize at 44:35 when midfielder Natalie Bolduc fired a ball forward chased by striker Mickey Nowell. Even though a defender beat him to the ball by just a hair, Nowell blocked the attempted clear which bounced off to his right. Nowell moved quickly to corral it, made a quick dribble to find an open lane, and pulled the trigger to send the ball just inside the far corner of the net from the right side.
At this point, Lincolnville upped the pressure to the max seeking the equalizer, but regrettably, the Hawks were able to stage a last counterattack with just under three minutes remaining to put the lead back up to two goals.
The Lynx tried valiantly to claw their way back in, but there just was not enough time left.
The outstanding thing about this game was the energy and enthusiasm that both teams brought to the field and that resulted in such an exciting, well-played match. Every player deserves due credit for the fine, entertaining game that resulted.
Ben Edes is the coach of the Lincolnville soccer team.