MANCHESTER — Eric LaBrie already stands out as the only freshman on a Yarmouth roster loaded with 13 seniors.

He now stands out even more after writing a new chapter in a program loaded with soccer tradition.

LaBrie took a through ball from Luke Groothoff and tucked it into the upper-left corner with 2:57 left in the second overtime to give No. 2 Yarmouth the Class B South title with a 3-2 win over No. 1 Maranacook in a fast and physical instant classic at Ricky Gibson Field of Dreams on Wednesday night.

“I’m absolutely amazed,” LaBrie said. “I was ready for the through ball and I tried to hit it over like I did.”

The Clippers (15-1-1), the defending state champion, will play for their eighth Class B title against Northern Maine champion Erskine at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland.

It was the first loss for Maranacook (16-1-1) since the 2012 Western Class B semifinals. The Bears were 50-0-2 and won two Class C titles in the interim.


“They leave everything on the field. That’s all that you can ask from anybody, right?” Maranacook coach Don Beckwith said. “That’s probably (Yarmouth’s) toughest game of the year.”

Clippers coach Mike Hagerty didn’t disagree.

“We really had to earn it, absolutely,” he said. “I thought actually for a good part of the second half, they outworked us. We knew how hard working they are and what a tough team they are.”

Each team rallied from a one-goal deficit to take the lead. Yarmouth got its second lead in sudden death.

Yarmouth got the first goal 10 minutes in on a corner kick that the Black Bears tried to clear with a head only to have senior Conor O’Donnell head it into the net.

Yarmouth limited Maranacook’s opportunities in the first half but the Black Bears just missed getting the equalizer on a couple of their own headers before the half. Yarmouth sophomore goalkeeper Cal Owen denied them again with a leaping save on another Kent Mohlar header seven minutes into the second half.


“They play great team defense. They play great team offense,” Beckwith said of Yarmouth. “They’re a tough team.”

The Black Bears finally broke through when Jason Brooks headed in Sam Wilkinson’s corner kick with 30:29 left in regulation.

Aside from a fine leaping save by Maranacook goalie Justin Freeman to deny Patrick Grant minutes after Brooks’ goal, the Clippers had very few chances in the first 25 minutes of the second half.

“It was totally fitness. We work pretty hard and we’re pretty fit,” Beckwith said of the difference between the halves. “It’s pretty much a grind all year as far as what we do. We don’t face a lot of tough teams so I grind them out during practice… It’s to get ready for this.”

“Right down the spine, they’re an excellent, excellent team,” Hagerty said. “And they play this field very well. They’re very direct, but there’s a purpose to what they’re doing. We knew we were in for a fight. I think it took us a while, going down 2-1, before our kids really woke up and really fought back.”

The Black Bears got that 2-1 lead after Owen was called for charging into Max McQuillen on a run near the top of the box, resulting in a penalty kick. Mohlar buried the kick past a diving Owen with 16:08 remaining, sending the huge partisan crowd into a frenzy.


Yarmouth collected itself, put an extra body forward and started to tip the field in the final 15 minutes. Matt Dostie tied it by heading in a cross from Christopher Pidden with 9:46 remaining.

“We kept our composure and stayed strong,” LaBrie said.

“In the last 15 minutes and the overtimes, I thought we got used to playing direct with them,” Hagerty said.

Owen made a nice diving save early in the first overtime to rob Mohlar yet again when he headed a Wilkinson corner kick. That was probably the best chance either side had before LaBrie’s game-winner.

The game ended with the teams at 18 shots apiece.

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

Twitter: @RAWmaterial33

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