WATERVILLE — It sounded like normal coach pep speak when Colden Golann called out to his Islesboro Central School players after they fell behind Temple Academy by two goals late in Tuesday’s Class D South boys soccer quarterfinal matchup.

“This game is not over!” he shouted from the sideline.

As it turned out, he was right. No. 5 Islesboro scored twice in the final 13 minutes, then got the winning goal from Finnian O’Malia within the first five minutes of overtime to rally past No. 4 Temple, 5-4.

“I don’t know if what I say on the sideline ever helps,” said Golann, one of the team’s co-coaches along with Robert McHugh. “It’s a pattern we’ve had this season, having to fight back. It hasn’t gone our way a couple of times, it has a couple, and it went our way today.”

Islesboro improved to 9-4-0, while Temple’s season ended at 9-5-1. Bereans coach Eric Larsen was happy with his team afterward, however, and for good reason — Temple won only three games last year and was competing in the Maine Principals’ Association playoffs for the first time Tuesday.

“Today was Islesboro’s day and they deserved the win, but I’m so proud of our guys,” he said. “They came together, they fought tremendously. We had a great season. I couldn’t be more proud of them.

“We would have liked to have gotten the win. It would have been nice if we could have tipped that scale just a little bit more.”

For a moment, it looked like they would. Temple fell behind 2-1 but struck for two goals in the final six minutes of the first half, the first when Brad Smith had a breakaway down the left side and touched it past the keeper with 5:22 to go, and the second when Will Paradis found Smith in the clear and set him up for another goal with 1:28 to go until the break.

Temple’s success with the long ball continued when Paradis took a pass after getting past the Islesboro defense, booted it by the keeper and finished off the chance with a shot into the open net for a 4-2 lead with 14:06 to play in the game.

“I think there was a lot of complementary soccer, which was something that we’ve preached all season long,” Larsen said. “(Paradis) set Brad up for a one-on-one with the goaltender that resulted in a goal. That’s just part of the way these guys have taken care of each other all year long.”

It didn’t take long for the Eagles to rally, however. O’Malia got the comeback started with 12:11 left when he dribbled the ball by the keeper and then calmly gathered it again and kicked it into the awning net, and Finn Gibson evened the game at 4 with 1:16 left when he was true on a shot from the back of the box.

Islesboro nearly won the game in regulation, converting on a corner immediately after the buzzer sounded, but settled for the overtime dramatics. The Eagles were awarded a penalty corner and sent it in toward the net, where O’Malia was waiting to head it in for the winner with 10:02 remaining.

“I have seen that a few times this season, coming back from deficits,” McHugh said. “I know that our team has that in them. We’re a resilient team. We come back.”

“The kids came out in the second half and you could just tell they really wanted it those last 40 minutes and the five minutes of overtime,” Golann said. “It was great to see.”

O’Malia (21:04 left in the first) and Xan Howell (19:40) had the first two goals for Islesboro, while Paradis (38:02) got the game’s first goal for Temple.

“This is a very young team, and Temple’s got a lot of room to continue to grow and develop,” Larsen said. “Last year we were 3-11, this year we had nine wins. I’m feeling pretty good about it. I would have liked the win, but we’re feeling good.”

Drew Bonifant —621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @dbonifantMTM


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