April 07, 2020

Trojans tie up Eagles MDI battles for playoff berth

ELLSWORTH – It was relief for one side and frustration for the other.

The Mount Desert Island boys soccer team scored first. Ellsworth dominated and finished with a huge edge in shots on goal.

But once Demetrios Katsiaficas tied things up for the Eagles in the second half, neither team managed another goal through double overtime and the Hancock County and Eastern Maine Class B rivals settled for a 1-1 tie at Del Luce Stadium.

It was a more than satisfactory result for 7-5-1 MDI.

The tie may have solidified a postseason berth for the Trojans, who were 10th in the Heal point standings released Tuesday morning. The top 10 teams advance to the playoffs.

“If we [had lost] we might not have made it,” MDI senior captain Andrew Veilleux said. “We’re right on the cut. A win would have been great but a tie, I think that will be enough.”

The Eagles, who are sitting in fourth place, move to 11-1-1. They wound up with a 20-4 advantage in shots on goal and a 7-3 edge in corner kicks.

Ellsworth just couldn’t manage to put shots in the net.

“It’s definitely frustrating, but when you look back on the game you credit MDI,” Katsiaficas said. “They played good defense and they shut us down, regardless of the amount of shots we had.”

The Eagles scored on corner kicks in Ellsworth’s 2-0 win earlier this season. This time, Pat Kelley’s 35-40 yard throw-ins offered Katsiaficas and other Ellsworth players plenty of header opportunities.

“We [were running] the same thing every time,” Kelley said. “You pretty much throw it to Dem and he does what he does.”

Veilleux said the Trojans were ready for the Eagles’ set plays.

“They always capitalize on those,” he said. “We’ve had trouble with that this year but tonight we felt like we won a lot of balls in the air. That helps a lot.”

MDI hadn’t taken a shot in the first half when sophomore backup Sam Stewart scored with 2:28 left in the first half.

The play started with a Nathaniel Paine free kick from the right side into the penalty area. Naniel Hilliard skimmed the ball out to Stewart, who put a low shot past Ellsworth goalie Greg Berry (one save).

“It was just an open shot to the goal and I hit it. I really didn’t know what I was doing at the time, but I’m glad it worked out,” said Stewart, a defender went into the game as a midfielder.

“Sam was the man,” Veilleux said. “He saved us.”

MDI got off a shot 45 seconds into the second half and took two more later in the period, but Ellsworth again dominated and was finally able to convert with 27:44 left in regulation.

Katsiaficas scored off a hard-hit boot from Luke Haskell, who started the play with a free kick after an MDI tripping foul. Haskell’s initial kick from about 35 yards on the right wing was cleared back out to him. He rekicked it and this time Katsiaficas headed it past MDI goalie John Joseph.

Three of Joseph’s eight saves came in overtime. Jesse Abbott’s hard strike at Joseph in the first OT period was one of Ellsworth’s better opportunities.

JV: Ellsworth 2-0

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