Milo—- It only took the Penquis Patriots only one minute and six seconds to score a goal in overtime. This was after playing 80 minutes of scoreless soccer against the Fort Kent Warriors..
With 13:54 remaining in the first overtime, Tyler Brzozoski sent a cross towards the goal from the right side of the field. Isaiah Bess was in the perfect spot and hit the ball off his head into the goal. That gave the top seeded and unbeaten Patriots a 1-0 victory over the Warriors in a class C boys quarterfinal game.
“It couldn’t work out any better,” Brzozoski said. “It was one of my better strikes I have had all year. Perfect placement, perfect header.”
Bess added, “My teammate set me up. I did the best I could to finish it.”
The defending state champs from Fort Kent came in as the number nine seed. They looked more like a top four seed on Wednesday afternoon.
“We knew coming in that this is not a typical number nine seed. They (Fort Kent) play a very difficult schedule. Losing to Presque Isle twice, Caribou, Madawaska and Houlton,” said Penquis coach Jason Mills. “They are a good team. They are young. It was a very good game. It wasn’t a quarterfinal game in my mind. Both teams went after each other. It is unfortunate someone had to lose.”
Brzozoski added, “They have heart. Who wants to lose after winning states? They are trying to protect their title. They showed today why they are a good team. Number nine seed was not suitable for them. They play a tough schedule. They are a heck of a team.”
The highlight of the game was the dramatic goal in overtime. That would not of been possible without outstanding goalkeeping from Trevor Lyford and solid defense from the Patriots. Lyford posted shutouts in five of the first six games of the season. Lyford says he is “110 percent” after missing the final five games of the regular season because of mononucleosis.
“This game right here is symbolic of all season. My name has been in the paper for shutouts. I haven’t really had to do anything,” Lyford said. “My defense in front of me has saved me all year. They showed why again today.”
Lyford had six saves on eight shots for the Patriots. Penquis (13-0-2) will face Orono in a semi-final game on Friday, October 28th. Penquis defeated Orono 4-3 on September 12th and 3-0 on October 10th.
“We know it is going to be a tough game. It is a semi-final game,” Lyford said. “Eastern Maine is real tough this year. We just have to bring our A game like we did today. We will fight to the finish.”
Cody Plourde had five saves on 10 shots for the Warriors. Fort Kent finishes the season with a record of 8-7-1.