PRESQUE ISLE — For the first time in several years, the Mount Desert Island High School varsity boys soccer team defeated the Presque Isle Wildcats Tuesday, a 3-2 upset in Eastern Maine Class B quarterfinals.
Tuesday afternoon was sunny and windy at the Johnson Athletic Complex turf field at Presque Isle Middle School. The stadium lights came on before the first half was complete, and spectators huddled in blankets and parkas.
The Trojans came out confident and dominated possession in the beginning of the game. The team kept the shape of their formation well. Zakari Charette, Jonathan Romero, Jack Sasner and Joe Grubb seemed perfectly in tune with each other as they led attacks on offense.
Presque Isle got their first looks on goal ten minutes into the game. MDI keeper Kendrew VanGorder made his first saves of the game. Thomas Paola deflected more passes and shots with his head, shoulders and back, and William Miller controlled the left side of the backfield.
MDI scored first on an unassisted shot from Rye Murray for a 1-0 lead. The Wildcats answered quickly to tie it up 1-1. VanGorder had four more big saves in the first half, including fast balls from the athletic Wildcat offense. Simon Hulbert and Will Greene at midfield worked to make opportunities for more shots on goal, but the score stayed tied at 1-1 at the half.
Defender Ryan Bender came out with an injury near the first of the first, but was back before the end of the game.
At the top of the second half, Chase McKim scored for MDI on a corner kick, bringing the score to 2-1. Teddy Geary, Aiden Robichaud-Ward and Seth Young added energy at midfield. On a Wildcat direct kick, Paola leapt high above the crowd to head away the ball.
The Trojans persisted with attempts at the goal. It paid off with six minutes left to play when Romero scored on a Grubb assist for a 3-1 lead. Ryan Bender, Nick Ressel and Young made sure to set the Wildcats back at least 30 yards every time they got to the ball. MDI gave up one more goal with one minute left to play, but came away with a 3-2 win and the chance for more postseason road trips.
“It’s great to see them enjoy what they’ve worked so hard for,” Coach Tyler Frank said. “We’re playing our game, making sure we’re first to the ball. When we have it, we create opportunities, and opportunities turn into goals. That’s how we win these games. We’re not done yet!”
MDI 3 – Winslow 0
The MDI boys began their playoff streak Saturday, defeating the No. 6 Winslow boys 3-0 in Winslow. The Class B preliminary game was scheduled for Friday but postponed due to rain. Senior Jack Sasner netted two goals and sophomore Joe Grubb added one.
The Trojans are set to face Oceanside in semifinals in Thomaston on Friday at 3 p.m.